View original document

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

F I F T Y - T H I R D

C O N G R E S S ,

Repeal of the Sherman Law.
I have ever f o u n d i n m y progress t h r o u g h life, t h a t , a c t i n g f o r the public,
if w e do always w h a t is r i g h t , t h e a p p r o b a t i o n denied us i n t h e b e g i n n i n g
w i l l surely f o l l o w us i n the end.—Thomas





M I L L S ,


Tuesday, September 19, 1893.

The S e n a t e h a v i n g u n d e r c o n s i d e r a t i o n t h e b i l l ( H . R. 1) to repeal a part of
a n a c t , a p p r o v e d J u l y 14,1890, e n t i t l e d " A n a c t d i r e c t i n g t h e p u r c h a s e o f s i l v e r
b u l l i o n a n d t h e issue of T r e a s u r y notes thereon, a n d f o r o t h e r p u r p o s e s " —

Mr. MILLS said:
Mr. PRESIDENT: W e have been convened in extraordinary
session to consider an extraordinary condition of public affairs.
It seems a little singular that in the midst of abundance, with
the country blessed with wealth in all its varied forms, there
should be distress among many of our people. But it is so.
Money, the most subtle and potent of all the agencies of exchange,
has, from some cause, become frightened and has retired from the
channels of commerce. As a necessary consequence transportation has been checked; production in some departments of industry has been slackened; employment has been reduced, and the
rewards to which labor is entitled have fallen off. And to-day,
while we are discussing the financial condition of the country, a
large part of our laboring people are discussing the question of
subsistence for themselves and those dependent on them.
There are various causes assigned for this unhappy condition.
The President in his message says to us it is chiefly chargeable
to the Sherman law of the 14th of July, 1890. A very large part
of the more intelligent of our citizens who are employed in commercial pursuits concur with him in that opinion, while another
large part have reached a different conclusion. But, sir, there
is a substantial concurrence of opinion among all classes, in Congress and out of it, that the Sherman law is an unwise enactment
which should be removed from the statute books of the nation.
The Democratic members of both branches of Congress said
it was unwise when they voted against its passage, and remain
unchanged in their convictions to the present time. The Republican party, who are responsible for it, say that it has outlived the purpose of its enactment, and they are now ready to
join with us in its repeal. If, therefore, we can unite in repealing
an unwise law, and if its repeal will result in restoring confidence to those engaged in conducting our commerce and in the revival of business activity, we will be in the discharge of the highest patriotic duty to remove it from the statute books as speedily
as possible.
The President in his message calls our attention to the provisions of the law; that it requires the Secretary of the Treasury to purchase monthly four and a half million ounces of silver
bullion; that this bullion is to be paid for by an issue of Treasury notes redeemable in gold or silver coin, at the discretion of
the Secretary of the Treasury; that said notes are to be reissued
when redeemed and kept as a part of the permanent circulation
of the country. The law also charges the Secretary to use the
discretion confided to him in redeeming these notes, so as to
maintain the established policy of the United States to preserve
the parity of the two metals at the present ratio, or such as may
be provided by law.
This requirement of law limits the discretion of the Secretary
and constrains him so to use the power given to him as that the
two metals shall remain in our circulation and our standard of
value be maintained and secured. He informs us that up to the
15th of July last more than $147,000,000 of these notes had been


S E S S I O N .

issued, and that between the 1st of May, 1892, and the 15th of
July, 1893, fifty-four millions of these notes had been issued and
forty-nine millions had been redeemed in gold. He tells us that
gold, the essential instrument required by the Secretary to discharge the trust confided to him byiaw to keep the metals at par,
is leaving the Treasury; that between July, 1890, and July, lb93,
the gold in the Treasury decreased more than $132,000,000, while
the silver coin for the same period increased more than one hundred and forty-seven millions. Not only is the gold leaving the
Treasury, but he calls to our attention the fact that it is leaving
the country, and that during the last fiscal year the excess of
exports of gold over its imports exceeded $87,000,000.
With this condition confronting us he says, and well says:
Gold and silver m u s t p a r t company and the Government m u s t f a i l i n its
established policy t o m a i n t a i n the t w o metals o n a p a r i t y w i t h each other.
G i v e n over to t h e e x c l u s i v e use of a c u r r e n c y g r e a t l y depreciated a c c o r d i n g
t o the standard of the c o m m e r c i a l w o r l d , we c o u l d n o longer c l a i m a place
a m o n g n a t i o n s o f t h e first class, n o r c o u l d o u r G o v e r n m e n t c l a i m a p e r f o r m a n c e of i t s o b l i g a t i o n , so f a r as s u c h a n o b l i g a t i o n h a s b e e n i m p o s e d
u p o n i t , t o p r o v i d e f o r the use of the people t h e best a n d safest m o n e y .

Here is language as clear and as explicit as can be written,
that if the present condition continues " the established policy "
of parity must fail; that bimetallism must go as an exploded
dream, and silver monometallism must come in its stead.
The President has warned Congress and the country against
the insidious approach of monometallism, and that in its very
worst form—monometallism of the depreciated metal. In the
face of this warning, the President has been denounced by persons claiming to be Democrats as a monometallist. It has been
said in this debate that we stand face to face with the issue of
bimetallism against the single gold standard. The statement
of the issue is not correct. The issue is bimetallism against a
single silver standard, and the issue is not one made by the President. It is an issue made by existing conditions and the issue
so made is one for Congress and the country to determine. If
the two metals are to be kept at par in our circulation the Sherman law must be repealed. If the silver standard is to be introduced and our gold standard and gold circulation is to be expelled, then the Sherman law should be retained.
The President has called us together and pointed out the peril
to " t h e established policy " o f bimetallism, and the disastrous
consequences to flow from its expulsion, and yet he is arraigned
before the country as an enemy of bimetallism and a gold monometallist. Batteries have been planted within the lines of the
Democratic encampment with their guns shotted to the lips with
grape and canister and their muzzles turned upon him and his
Administration. He is charged with being unfaithful to the declarations of the party that elected him to the Chief Magistracy
of the nation, and that he is off the platform and refuses to execute the pledges that party made to'the nation. Sir, I deny the
charge. I say that he stands firmly with both feet on the platform of his party, and in his message is doing all that is in his
power to induce Congress to redeem the pledges made by the
party that elected him. It is not he, but those who are fighting
him that have abandoned the platform.
The first sentence of the seventh article of that platform, so
often quoted, says:
W e d e n o u n c e t h e R e p u b l i c a n l e g i s l a t i o n k n o w n as t h e S h e r m a n a c t o f 1890
as a c o w a r d l y m a k e s h i f t , f r a u g h t w i t h p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f d a n g e r i n t h e f u t u r e
w h i c h s h o u l d m a k e a l l o f i t s s u p p o r t e r s as w e l l as i t s a u t h o r a n x i o u s f o r i t s
speedy repeal.

That is all that is said about the Sherman law. Here is a
strong denunciation and an unequivocal demand for its speedy
repeal. There are no conditions attached. There are no substitutes demanded. A Democratic convention indicted it as a
"cowardly makeshift" and demanded its " s p e e d y " repeal, and
yet the President and the Secretary of the Treasury, and all of
us who want to carry into effect in letter and spirit the pledges
which our party made to the nation, are declared to be off the
platform and false to the obligations which we have assumed to
the American people.
W e are told that something else must be substituted. W h y
should something else be substituted? " Because," they say, "if
you repeal the Sherman law unconditionally no more silver will
be coined. The President will not sign any bill that provides
for any more silver coinage." And on these assumptions the
President is to be convicted of infidelity to high public trust.
The President is as much entitled to be trusted by the constitu-



ency that elected him as we are by that wThich elected us, and I
will never vote for the adoption of any amendment to this bill
that puts upon him the brand of suspicion. I am not required
to dispel all the doubts that may have taken refuge in the
minds of gentlemen as to the President's fidelity to the trusts
which the people ha,ve confided to his keeping. It is only necessary for me to discharge those duties which have been imposed
upon rne. My party has indicted and arraigned this "cowardly
makeshift" before the bar of the nation. On the 8th day oi last
November it was convicted and sentenced, and the duty is imposed on me to use whatever power I possess to remove it, and
that I intend to do.
Mr. President, it has not been the habit of the legislative department of the Government to embrace all the measures to be
enacted in one bill. W e have been out of the control of the Government for thirty years, and many measures are required to
make its administration conform to Democratic opinion. Many
abuses have grown up, many bad measures have been engrafted
upon the statutes. They must all have their day in court, and be
considered in their order. It is said the Democratic convention
at Chicago declared for the equal treatment of gold and silver,
and the conclusion is that it must be done in this bill. To that
it may be replied that the convention declared against the McKinley law; must its repeal or modification be engrafted on this?
Must we wait till the House has prepared and passed a bill to
take its place, for everybody knows we can not inaugurate a measure of that kind?
The platform demands the admission as States of New Mexico
and Arizona. Are we to wait till the bills for their admission
are prepared and then incorporate them in this? It declares
for the improvement of the Mississippi River. Are we to wait
till plans shall be formed and adopted which will compel the
Father of Waters to remain within his banks, and then make
those plans a part of this bill? It declares the party in favor of
the construction of the Nicaragua Canal. Are we to wait till
that canal is built before we repeal the Sherman law? Everyone will say no. Then why should we place silver legislation
in the bill intended to repeal the Sherman law? The only reason that can be assigned is that the President will not sign such
legislation as Congress will pass. I say that the people have
made him their Chief Magistrate. They have trusted him, are
still trusting him, and will continue to trust him. Let us examine the declarations of the platform on the subject of coinage,
and see who is on and who is off. Turning to the seventh article again, it says:
W e hold—

'4 Hold " is a very significant word. It means to retain, and retain firmly, something already in possession—
W e hold t o 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 f o r m i n t a g e ; but—

But what? " B u t " is a disjunctive conjunction, the grammarians tell us. A disjunctive conjunction disjoins and conjoins.
Words are the signs of ideas—the vehicles of thought. " The
thought, the idea that was being' conveyed by these words, was
arrested by the interposition of that little word of three letters.
The idea was disjoined; while the sentence was conjoined.
The idea was the equal treatment of both metals in our coinage
laws. That idea was arrested and a condition was prescribed
that limited the declaration. W h a t was that condition?
but the dollar unit of coinage of both metals must be of equal intrinsic or
exchangeable value.

Here is the fundamental condition upon which the equal coinage of the two metals was to rest, and equality of treatment was
not to be adopted upon any other condition. The coinage of both
metals without limit and without charge must produce bimetallism; not partial bimetallism as we now have, but perfect bimetallism, which is shown by the parity in value of the metals
or the dollar coined and uncoined. That is what a Democratic convention said, and that is what a Democratic President
says. Equal treatment of both metals if it will keep both metals
in circulation. If equal treatment will expel one metal and retain the other then equal treatment is not to be had. W e have
thirteen hundred millions of bimetallism now and 11 we hold to "
it. If we can not have perfect bimetallism we will retain what
we have, which is the next best thing to it.
The position clearly and unequivocally taken in that declaration
is that the present standard of value shall not be supplanted.
The platform declares that the dollars of each metal must have
"equal intrinsic and exchangeable value." There has been some
refining on the word " i n t r i n s i c " during this debate. W h e n
the word is used in reference to gold and silver it means commercial value. It is so used by financiers and political economists. It means the value which individual want gives, in contradistinction to that value which government gives. " E x changeable " value means money value, and when both are united


in both^ metals there is perfect bimetallism. When both are
united in one metal that" metal becomes the standard of value
and the other, if used, is a subsidiary metal, limited in its volume to prevent its supplanting the standard.
The same is true of the paper dollar. If its volume is limited
it is an auxiliary to the standard dollar. If unlimited it supplants the standard and expels it from the circulation.
Government note that promises to pay 81,000 is intrinsically
worthless, but with the power given it by the Government it is
worth $1,000 in gold, The intrinsic value of 371i grains of silver
is to-day in the open market about 57 cents; the exchangeable
value in coin is 100 cents. When the convention declared that
the paper dollar should be kept at par with the coin dollar they
explained what they meant by exchangeable value.
If the fundamental condition of equality of the two metals in
the markets and the mints doss not exist, then it must be produced " t h r o u g h 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 payment of debts." Here is a clear
recognition of two opposing opinions as to the proper method of
reaching bimetallism, one by international agreement and the
other by national legislation. It was well known in that convention that the Democratic party, as well as the Republican
party, was divided as to these two opposing policies.
The convention was too smart to espouse one of these and antagonize the other. There were too many voters in the ranks of
each who might forget when election day came. They substantially said to the country: W e are Democrats; we believe with
Thomas Jefferson that error of opinion may be tolerated when
reason is left free to combat it; let reason and the wrong go together; our faith is that reason will survive and the w r o n g win
perish. Put both propositions in the arena of debate; discuss
them, turn on the light, try them by the crucible; seek and find
the right. Remember that " i n essentials there should be unity,
in nonessentials liberty, in all things charity."
The essential here is that the two metals must remain in our
circulation. If possible as equals, but if that is not possible,
one must be the principal and the other the auxiliary; but under
no circumstances is either metal to be expelled. The President
expressed a sentiment that lives in the bosom of every Democrat
in the land when he said that the people were entitled to a sound
and stable currency and their government had no right to injure
them by financial experiments.
Sir, I am a bimetallist myself, and have been ever since the
question of silver coinage has been agitated in this country, and
since I have been in public life. I am for the free and unlimited coining of both gold and silver, and the language of the national Democratic platform expresses my sentiments as clearly
as if I had written it with my own hand. I am for the free and unlimited coinage of both metals, " but "—that free and unlimited
coinage must result in the preservation of that bimetallism
which we have to-day, and keep both metals circulating in our
country at par.
Nothing in the business of the country can be of such transcendent importance to its labor as the fixity and stability of the
standard of value that measures all its products in the market.
I wonder if our friends have ever thought how immense are the
products that are thrown upon the world by the daily labor of
the American people. Every article made by that labor has
to be valued before it goes from the producer to the middleman and from him to the consumer, and every exchange that
is made when the article leaves the producer and is on its way
to the consumer has to be valued, and before it can be valued
there must be a standard by which it is to be valued. One of
the most intelligent statisticians in the United States savs that
the annual exchanges of our country amount to more than $40.000,000,000 a year.
Let us think for one moment that every man who is laboring
is laboring five or ten times as much for some one else as he
is for himself. His products have to ba exchanged; and before
they are exchanged there must be a standard by which they
are to be valued when exchanged. The great mass of our
22,000,000 of persons who are engaged in gainful occupations in
this country must have a stable standard of value or they will be
cheated every day and every hour of the day throughout the
whole year. "When the President declares in his message for a
stable standard of value and warns us of the perils that are in
the way, he is standing in the step3 and repeating the declarations of Thomas Jefferson, the great author and founder of our
party. In 1813, when the country was similarly situated, he
wrote to Mr. John W . Eppes a letter, from which I extract the
following passage:
T o trade on equal terms the c o m m o n measure of values should be as n e a r l y
as possible on a par with that of its corresponding nations, w h o s e m e d i u m
is in a sound state—that is to say, n o t in an accidental state of excess o r deficiency.
Now, one of the great advantages of a specie m e d i u m is that he-

ing of universal value it will keep itself at a general level, flowing out f r o m
w h o r e i t i s t o o h i g h i n t o p a r t s w h e r e i t i s l o w e r . W h e r e a s i f t h e m e d i u m "be
o f l o c a l v a l u e o n l y , as p a p e r m o n e y , i f t o o l i t t l e i n d e e d , g o l d a n d s i l v e r w i l l
flow i n t o s u p p l y t h e d e f i c i e n c y ; b u t i f t o o m u c h , i t a c c u m u l a t e s , b a n i s h e s
tho gold a n d silver n o t locked u p i n v a u l t s a n d hoards, a n d depreciates itself;
t h a t is t o s a y : its p r o p o r t i o n t o t h e a n n u a l p r o d u c e of i n d u s t r y b e i n g r a ised,

m o r e of i t is required t o r e p r e s e n t a n y p a r t i c u l a r article of p r o d u c e t h a n
i n the other c o u n t r i e s .

Tho hesfc possible standard of value is a universal standard
throughout the whole world, where every part of the globe recognizes the same article as the measure of values for the rest. The
variation then would be a mere trace, as chemists say in their
an lyses. If gold were the universal standard, the only variation
in its price would be determined by its own demand and supply;
but gold alone is not the best standard, and silver alone is not the
b:-jst standard. Many of our greatest men have contended for
the single standard of one metal, and many for the other. Gen.
Jackson's Secretary of the Treasury made a strong report in 1830
in favor of a single silver standard. The subject was thoroughly
investigated from 1818 to 1834, mid reports were made on the
Bubje-ctto the House of Representatives. A very able report was
made by Mr. Campbell P. White, from the Committee of Coinage
to the House of Representatives, advocating the single silver
But I agree with Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Hamilton, and the
other great fathers of our country, that the bimetallic standard
is the best for the world. There are two prominent reasons why
I believe so. Silver and gold have been perpetual rivals of each
other through all the ages. Each has been contending in the
market for the control of exchanges. Each has had its advocates,
and now has its advocates in every country, asserting that it shall
be accepted as the standard, to the exclusion of its rival. This
persistent struggle between the two metals and those who espouse
them constitute a disturbance that unsettles business and makes
a variable standard of value that subjects producers to a constant
tax. W h e n they are indissolubly united their rivalry is dissipated and their controversy determined. The second reason is
that when the two metals are united in one the amount of the
volume of money of the commercial world is doubled, and commercial exchanges are so much the more facilitated.
W e may in this country increase the volume of paper or of
silver, and other countries may do the same; but neither paper
nor silver is the money of commerce. Neither of them is sent
to foreign countries to pay balances. W h e n there is a balance of
forty, fifty, sixty, or one hundred millions to be paid by this country or to be paid to this country, it is not paid in silver nor in paper but in gold, because the gold dollar or pound or franc has the
same value when the stamp of the government is taken off as
when it is on. Gold is a commodity, but money is a creature of
law. The commodity that measures the value of all other commodities which are to be exchanged in the world's commerce
must have the same value itself in the world's markets as it has
in the mints of its different governments. If the commodity
which serves as the standard and which goes out and comes in
to pay balances be increased by doubling its volume, it will to
the same extent increase the activity in the movement of commerce and also in the production of the articles that are exchanged throughout the world. It will increase production, increase transportation, and increase the employment of labor in
all branches of industry and bring increased prosperity to e very
country on the globe. For these reasons, sir, I am a bimetallist, and I believe that nine-tenths of the American people of all
parties are bimetallists.
It is a singular thing, Mr. President, that when Alexander
Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson came together in the establishment of our mint, while they differed as far as the North is from
the South, cr the East from the West upon all the fundamental
principles in relation to the organization and distribution of the
powers of government, they were in perfect accord on the question of coinage of the two metals. It was regarded by them both
as purely a business question, and out of the range of partisan
politics. They both agreed that the unit should stand on both
metals, and that the two metals should be coined at ratios BO
fixed by law as that each should be of the same value in the markets as when coined at the mint. They both agreed that there
were great difficulties to be overcome in finding those values;
that the work was a very delicate and difficult one.
Mr. Benton says that "refined calculations were gone into:
scientific light was sought; history was rummaged back to the
times of the Roman J&mpire," in order to ascertain the exact
relative values of the two metals, so that the dollars of each
would remain in our circulation. Again he says:
The nicety of the question was aggravated in the year 1792 by the difficulty
of obtaining exact knowledge of the relative value of these metals at that
time in France and England, and Mr. Gallatin has since shown that the information which was then relied upon was clearly erroneous. The consequence of any mistake in fixing our standard was also well known in the
year 1792. Mr. Secretary Hamilton in his proposition f o r the establishment
of & mint expressly declared that the consequence of a mistake in the

r e l a t i v e v a l u e of t h e t w o m e t a l s w o u l d be t h e e x p u l s i o n of t h e one t h a t
w a s undervalued. M r . Jefferson, t h e n Secretary of State, i n his c o n t e m p o r aneous r e p o r t u p o n f o r e i g n c o i n d e c l a r e d t h e s a m e t h i n g . Mr. R o b e r t M o r r i s ,
to the Revolutionary Government, i n his proposal to establish a
m i n t i n 1782, w a s e q u a l l y e x p l i c i t t o t h e s a m e e f f e c t . T h e d e l i c a c y o f t h e
q u e s t i o n a n d t h e consequence of a m i s t a k e w e r e t h e n f u l l y u n d e r s t o o d
f o r t y y e a r s a g o , w h e n t h e r e l a t i v e v a l u e o f g o l d a n d s i l v e r w a s f i x e d a t 15
to 1

Here are three of the greatest financiers, and in that line certainly three of the greatest men the country has overproduced,
all agreeing that the question of the exact relative value of
these two metals was a very delicate and a very dfficult one,
and that if a mistake were made in fixing their relative values
that the metal which was undervalued would be expelled from
our circulation. After rummaging all history back to the Roman
Empire, as Mr. Benton says, and after all the aid which they
could obtain from scientific investigation, they fixed the relative value at fifteen parts of silver equal to one of gold, and it
was a mistake. Gold was undervalued and left the country, and
silver became the standard of value. There was gold coined at
our mints, but it remained in the mints in boxes until it was
called for to be shipped out of the country. About the year
1818 an investigation was started to correct" the mistake made
in 1792 by these three great men.
Several reports were made by committees to Congress. Mr.
Secretary Crawford made an able report on the subject in 1820,
and in 1829 Mr. Gallatin, who had been for many years Secretary
of the Treasury under Jefferson and Madison, wrote a letter to
the Secretary of the Treasury, in which he stated, after a thorough investigation of the subject, that safety was to be found by
coining one part of goid to an amount of silver to be found somewhere between 15.58 and 15.69. Mr. Gallatin's opinion was overruled, notwithstanding a report was made to the House fixing
the ratio a t l to 15.621, and a law was passed changing the ratio
from 15 to 1 to 15,98 to 1. The result was, as Mr. Gallatin had
foretold, silver was undervalued, and then silver left the country
as gold had done before 1831, when it was undervalued.
Now, Mr. President, with all this history showing the almost
insurmountable difficulty in the way of fixing the relative values
of these two metals and keeping them together in our circulation, we find some of our statesmen who propose to jump at a
ratio whether right or wrong, hit or miss, and put to peril the
whole of a vast financial system upon which rests the prosperity
of all the labor and all the commerce of our country. Our experience ought to teach us how difficult and how dangerous is
the work before us. If we fix a ratio and miss it far enough in
undervaluing one metal to make it profitable to export it, it will
all leave us as it did before. The question presents itself to our
minds, how can we by national action fix the price of gold and
silver so that that price will remain stable, invariable and immovable.
W e may as well talk about Congress fixing the price of wheat
and cotton throughout the world as to talk about fixing the price
of silver and gold throughout the world, and unless tho price
of gold and silver in this country is practically the same as in
other countries they will separate. Each will go, like every
other product, to that market where it finds the highest price.
If wo are able by law to say that 10 pounds of cotton shall be
equivalent in value to 1 bushel of wheat and fix the prices of
these two articles at that ratio throughout the globe, then we
can fix the prices of all other articles, and then we can determine
the price which the people of all other countries have to pay for
such articles. When I say that if we overvalue silver and undervalue gold that gold will leave this country I do not mean that
it will all go at once, nor do I mean that all the coined silver of
the world will be dumped upon us.
A great deal of foolishness of that sort has been talked. I
have answered that years ago. The coined silver of the world
is coined at a standard of higher value than our silver, and will
stay at home, in accordance with the same law that our gold
will go away. The only silver that will come to our mints will
be the silver that comes from tho mines. Not a dollar of silver
which is coined in Europe will come to this country to displace
a dollar in gold ; but the silver annually produced from the mines
will come to us. It will not all come in a day, nor will all our
gold leave in a day, but we will see a steady going out of one and
coming in of the other until the gold will disappear entirely
from our circulation and the silver dollar will become the standard of value. When that takes place, 57 cents' worth of silver
will become 100 cents.
How is that to be avoided? It can only be done by a combination of powers sufficiently strong to buy and sell ail the gold and
silver in the world at a fixed price agreed on by themselves. Is
there any power in the world that can do this? Are there any
number of nations in the world which can make this combination? Can it be done without England's cooperation? I say yes,
unequivocally. I say the continent of Europe with the United
States can make a combination, an agreement, by which they



will throw open their mints to the unlimited coinage of bo f h
gold and silver at 15 to 1, 15£ to 1, or 16 to 1, and they can fix
the price so that it will be as steady and as immovable as the
mountains themselves on their bases. Suppose that all of those
countries say: " W e will take ail the gold in the world and give
16 ounces of silver for 1 of gold; we will take all the silver in the
world and give 1 ounce of gold for 16 ounces of silver."
No man will offer to sell an ounce of gold fo^r 12 ounces of silver when he c m get 16: no man will oit'er 20 ounces of silver for
1 ounce of gold when he can get 1 ounce of gold for 16 ounces of
silver. Profit is the motive which controls the trades of the
whole human family, individually and collectively. Whenever
that is fixed, and these powers say "bring your gold here and we
will give you 16 ounces of silver for every ounce of gold, bring
your silver and we will give you 1 ounce of gold for every 16
ounces of silver," the price will be fixed, and it is not in the
power of England nor of the rest of the world to defeat it, because the powers which are united in cooperation in establishing this price compose a majority of the commercial powers of
the whole globe, and they make and move the majority of all the
commercial products of the globe. That is the reason.
I believed years ago that it was in the power of the United
States by a bold stand to have taken the lead, and I believed that
Europe would have followed if the United States had thrown open
her mints and declared to the world that she intended to take
the lead, that she would risk the consequences, and that she
would coin without limit at 16 to 1. There was a time when it
was my opinion that if she had taken that bold lead the whole
earth would have followed her, with perhaps the exception of
England. It followed the young Republic in 1776 when she made
her great struggle for freedom. When she had torn down all
the ensigns of royalty and designated this as the land of liberty,
her success shook every throne in Europe, and there was a great
struggle all over Europe to imitate and follow her example.
In 1846, after a long discussion, when she determined to abandon the protective system, which was obstructing the great
movement of her commerce, and put herself wholly upon the
principle of free trade not only England, but all Europe followed
her, and there never was a season of greater prosperity over the
whole earth than was witnessed during that period.
In 1861, when she retraced her steps and declared for commercial restriction, protection against competition, almost every
power in Europe retraced its steps and followed her bad example.
In 1871, when Germany had overthrown France and exacted a
thousand millions in gold from her fallen foe, she determined to
take up her silver and replace it with gold. It was a bold, bad
move, started to destroy one-half the metallic money of the
world. The Latin Union and other powers in Europe took a tentative position and waited for the leadership of the great Republic. They suspended silver coinage for one year, then for
another, another, another, and this watching and waiting continued till we took a decided stand in February, 1878, the other
way; then they made the closing of their mints permanent, and
one country after another has fallen into the column, till India,
the last stronghold of silver, has thrown up the sponge and put
herself in alignment with the commercial world.
That was the time when John G. Carlisle denounced the great
conspiracy, at the head of which was the German Empire; that
was the time when he made that splendid speech which has
been so often quoted and misapplied. Germany and those who
were following her leadership were proposing to destroy, as
Mr. Carlisle said, from three-sevenths to one-half of the metal
money of the world. He denounced it as one of the greatest
crimes ever meditated, and to counteract it he proposed that the
great Republic should take her place there at the head of the
column, boldly throw open her mints to unlimited coinage, and
at the same time send commissioners to Europe to insist on their
following and supporting us. Then, to restore bimetallism, he
urged the forcingof the measure on appropriation bills, in order
that perfect bimetallism might be secured to the world. But,
ctrange to say, those who are to-day advocating silver monometallism quote his earnest words to show that he is inconsistent. Mr. Carlisle stands to-day where he stood then, and if the
conditions were the same he would urge the same course. But
the issue is not the same, nor are conditions the same.
But who to-day is proposing to strike out of the coinage of the
world $4,000,000,000 of silver coin? I want to see the color of
the hair of the man who dares to advocate it. Is there any man
in Europe or America who is advocating the demonetization of the
four billions of silver in the world's coinage to-day? That is not
the question here at all. Nothing of the kind. The question is
now whether we shall open our mints to the continued free and
unlimited coinage of silver at 16 to 1, not whether we shall destroy the silver dollars that we have.
It has been said on this floor that France has a bimetallic
system. France has $700,000,000 of silver and $800,000,000 of

gold, and her $700,000,000 of silver is circulating on the standard
of her $300,000,000 of gold. If France should take her coins to
the mint and melt them she would lose the difference between
100 cents in gold and 57 cents. If France has bimetallism with
seven hundred millions of silver dollars and eight hundred millions of gold dollars, what do you call the financial system of
this country, with six hundred millions of silver dollars and only
six hundred millions of gold dollars? Yet it is denied that we
have bimetallism.
We have not the most perfect system of bimetallism, Mr. P resident. The only perfect system of bimetallism, as I have said,
is when both metals at a given ratio are worth in commerce just
what they are in money, and when both are freely coined and both
made one for the purposes of money. W e have not got that;
but what we have in circulation is bimetallic. W e are using
silver upon a gold basis, but it is being used ail the same.
Mr. President, I have been thinking for some time that there
was some large amount of silver being excluded from the monetary circulation of the world by the closing of the mints. The
study which I have been able to give to the statistics which have
been furnished me leads me to make this statement: If the mints
of the world were thrown open to the free coinage of silver to-day
not another ounce could get into circulation, l challenge a contradiction of that statement here and now. Every ounce is either
in currency or manufactures, and whether you coin or not, it
will go by preference to manufactures, because if a man can take
a silver dollar and make it worth five dollars, he has the natural
right to expend his labor and make five dollars of it, and he will
do it. There is no power in Christendom which can prevent him
from doing it, and no rightful power in Christendom which,
ought to prevent him from doing it. Not another ounce of silver, with all the mints thrown open all over the whole globe,
could get into the money circulation of the world, and 1 am going
to prove it, too.
But before I go to the figures I want to quote a statement of a
very distinguished Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. Windom.
My friend who sits before me [Mr. DANIEL] quoted it in his magnificent speech a few days ago. The statement has been made
before. Mr. Windom, while Secretary of the Treasury, said in
an official report that there is no silver in f oreign countries which
can come here. Mr. St. John, a great leader in the discussion
of free coinage and bimetallism, and a man of very great accomplishment, also said there was none. I believe my friend from
Virginia admits that there is none.
Then, Mr. President, what does all this controversy mean?
The whole country has been agitated from end to end for free
coinage in order to swell the circulation, increase the price of
commodities, and decrease the price of money, when not one
ounce more can get into circulation.
Mr. DANIEL. Will the Senator allow me to ask a question?
Mr. MILLS. Yes.
Mr. DANIEL. The money detained from circulation to redeem silver—the overlapping of the currencies, the one part to
redeem another part, would cease, would it not, and thus swell
the volume of money?
Mr. MILLS. I do not comprehend my friend's question.
Mr. DANIEL. It would subserve the purpose of the gold by
supporting itself as a dollar, instead of holding the gold dollar in
the Treasury to protect it, and thereby swell the currency.
Mr. MILLS. I reckon my friend from Virginia is a disciple
of Thomas Jefferson, and Mr. Jefferson said if you have a metallic circulation, and it is not enough, gold and silver will flow
from where it is higher to where it is lower, to restore the
equilibrium. W e are all Democrats on this side of the Chamber; we are all proud to be called Jeffersonian Democrats, and it
makes no difference whether the silver is circulating on the
credit of gold or whether the paper dollar is circulating on the
credit of gold. All things being equal, the price of commodities
is fixed by the amount of money in circulation. I do not mean
the money in the Treasury, and I do not mean the money hoarded,
but I mean the money that is in the market actively demanding
Mr. DANIEL. Will the Senator allow me to ask him this
question? If no more silver could get into the coinage by open
mints, why does he wish to close the mints by a simple repeal of
the Sherman act without a substitute?
Mr. MILLS. I answered that some time ago. I said in the
opening sentences that if the repeal of the Sherman law would
restore confidence and revive business it was the highest patriotic duty to do it, whether we all agree upon the causes of the
present difficulty or not.
Mr. President, let me take the statistics of the world's production of gold and silver from 1492 to 1893, a period of four
hundred years. The gold was $8,204,300,000, silver was $9,726,072,000, making together $17,930,372,000, when the coinage of
the world to-day is less than $8,000,000,000, and more than half

of this vast sum, the accumulation of four centuries, isoutof the shown how nice and delicate must be a readjustment. I have
shown the difficulties in the constant appreciation of gold, becirculation of the world and is in manufactures
The world's present stock of coin, according to the official re- cause of the constant demand on gold for manufactures and the
port of our Treasury Department, is: gold, $3,582,605,000: silver, constant decrease relatively in its production compared to sil$4,042,700,000; making altogether $7,625,305,000. Let us take it ver, which make it a constantly disturbing element. How is it
for the 1-st century and see what has been the result. From possible for us to maintain these two together? And unless we do
1792 to 18'i)2 the gold production was $5,633,908,000, the coinage bring them together, as the President said, we will put the busiw^s 87,56; ,307,452. The world's production of silver for the same ness of this country exclusively upon a silver basis, and then
time was $5,077,961,000, the coinage was $6,736,784,794.
your standard is gone.
x ou see here in the last century that we have coined three
Now, let us see what the first effect is going to be. The standthous nd mill ions more gold and silver than the world produced ard of the commercial world to-day is gold. It has been gold in
Li that century. Where has it gone' ' Into manufactures. There the United States since 1834. It was silver from 1792 up to 834.
is hare it has gone, ana you can not keep it from going there. I have stated repeatedly heretofore in the other House th. t the
VY ii • 11 the manufacturers want the bars they will take them, andpeople of the United States had been laboring under the deluif the is not convenient they will take the coin. It is im- sion for a century that they had the double standard. There
possible for us to keep all the gold and silver produced in the never has been a double standard in this country from the organiworld in coin ige.
zation of the mint to the present time. W e had a silver st indard
But let us take '' the dark period " from 1873 to 1892. W e pro- until 1834, and then gold drove silver out. of the countr
duced in gold $2,210,961,206, of silver $2,400,760,533. W e coined gold was the standard until 1861, when paper drove both out of
$2,912,927",456 in gold, and $2,410,962,273 in silver. W e coined circulation until 1879. In 1879 gold again became the standard,
over $700,000,000 more gold than we produced from the mines, which measured all values in this country. It is now the standand we coined ten millions more silver than we produced from ard, the uniform standard of value of the commercial wor d.
the mines from 1873 to 1892.
W e are invited to abandon this standard and go to a depreciated
How is this? W h y is there so great a disparity between the standard of another metal. It will be just as fatal as if we went
excess in the coinage of gold and that of silver? Because, as I to the depreciated standard of paper money,
The only difference between paper and the depreciated st mdsaid a while ago, gold is the basis of values of the world, and
when gold goes from this country to England to settle balances, ard of metal below that of the uniform standard of the nations
it does not go as dollars and cents, but it goes as a commodity; with which we trade is that paper admits of further expansion
and if it is not intended to be returned directly to this country than do the metals. That is all.
it goes to the English mint to be coined into the money of acSuppose, then, Mr. President, that a gentlem m in Liverpool
count of Great Britain. The same is true of France, the same of wants to buy $1,000 worth of cotton. He gives $1,000 in gold to
Austria, the same of Germany, the same of all other countries. It his agent and sends him to Texas. That agent, before he can
is not so with silver except when we deal with silver countries buy the cotton, has to exchange his gold for money of account
like China and Japan.
in this country, which is silver, because the cheaper met I alI say here, clearly and unequivocally, that there is no gold and ways drives the dearer away. Dollars do not circulate in this
silver in the world that is not either in manufactures or in the country in gold when one gold dollar will buy two silver dolcoins of the world, or on its way to one or the other; and if it is lars. When a debt that is promised to be paid in one dollar, one
manufactured you can not get it out, because it is more valuable of these silver dollars will pay it, the other will go into the
in manufactures than it is in coin.
pocket of the man. Therefore the cheaper money always drives
Then what advantage can there be now (without an interna- out the dearer money. To that rule there is no exception. That
tional agreement fixing the relative prices of these two metals man comes to Texas, and first he buys $2,000 of silver with $1, X)0
so that they will be indissolubly tied together) to throw open of gold. Cotton in Liverpool is worth 10 cents a pound in gold,
our mints, if we can not increase our circulation? No advantage and it is worth 20cents a pound in silver in Texas, minus the cost
whatever can accrue, but evils immeasurable in their extent.
of transportation, etc. He invests in silver, but before he can buy
Mr. GEORGE. Will the Senator allow me to ask him a ques- his cotton his silver has decreased in value 10 per cent. Then
what has he got to do? He has to buy 10 per cent more sil ver.
Instead of having $2,000 in silver to buy the same amount of
Mr. MILLS. Yes, sir.
Mr. GEORGE. Does the Senator wish to be understood as cotton, he must have $2,200 worth.
saying that there will be less silver coined if we repeal the
W h o is going to lose that? W h o in all the ages has lost that?
Sherman law than if it should stand?
Not the middleman—never. The business can not be carried on
Mr. MILLS. I am not talking about the Sherman law alone. in that way. He understands his business thoroughly, and he
I am talking about silver now. My friend is anticipating.
makes the producer pay it; and the producer is bound to it.
Mr. GEORGE. Does the Senator mean to say that the repeal He can not escape it. It is the law of economy that every proof the Sherman law will not decrease the coinage of silver here- ducer has to pay all the charges of production, transportation,
and movement to the consumer, and then sell at the market
Mr. MILLS. If we were to stand perfectly still and no other price. He has to pay the cost of production. He has to pay the
country was to coin any more silver than they are coining now, freight, and then he has to pay insurance against loss; and here
there would be a decrease of the coinage; and so, if the skies is another kind of insurance which he has to pay also. The 10
were to fall we would catch all the birds. If we do not pass any per cent has to be paid out of the pockets of the man who makes
more appropriation bills the Government will certainly come to the cotton in the field in Texas. That is where it comes from.
a standstill. I do not mean to be understood that we are not
Now, take $350,000,000—the value of the cotton crop of the
going to coin any more silver. I am simply making an argu- United States—and you will see what a bounty the cotton proment to show that at the very best, if you throw open all the ducers of this country are paying on the one single item of cotmints in Christendom, you can not put into the world's circula- ton alone on account of the introduction of a variable, exchangetion another ounce of silver. That is what I mean to say. And able, elastic, " f l e x i b l e " standard which a great many of our peoI do mean to say that if we open the mints to free coinage under ple are demanding. The old Democratic doctrine was a stable,
existing conditions we will disturb the distribution of silver all invariable standard of value.
over the whole world, and some countries will become silverWhen we consider that the farmers in this country are mainly
standard countries and some countries will become exclusively interested in keeping a stable standard of value, because they
gold-standard countries. W e shall get somebody's silver, and are the people who trade in foreign countries, it is strange that
they will get our gold. W e shall be a silver-standard country, they demand a '' flexible " standard. Look at the exports. From
and 57 cents to-day will become 100 cents to-morrow.
72 to 84 per cent of them are farm products whose prices are
I wish to pause here a moment to ask a question of my friends fixed in the foreign market by the gold standard; and of all the
who are interested in the production of silver. I wish I could products that are shipped from American farms cotton stands
benefit them. I shall not be as mean to them as they were to us on first. More than 60 per cent of all the cotton raised in this
the tariff question, voting to take our markets away from us and country—upon which the whole prosperity of 20,000,000 of peoconfine our cotton to the home market, where we only consume ple depends, and not only their prosperity, but their very civone-third of it. I should like to do anything I could to enhance ilization is dependent upon that plant-1—is sold according to a
the value of silver; I should like to bring it to $1.29 an ounce; gold standard. Gold fixes the value of every pound of cotton
but suppose that your silver dollar at its gold value, 57 cents to- grown in the United States.
day, becomes the standard of value of 100 cents, 5 pounds of cotThe farmer knows what cotton is worth in Liverpool every day.
ton worth 57 cents would be.worth 100 cents, and 5 yards of cloth He reads in the morning papers that it is worth so much in Livnow worth 57 cents would be worth 100 cents. It is the stand- erpool and so much in Galveston. He knows the cost of its moveard of value, and you would not get any more in exchange than ment between these two cities and between his farm and his
you get now for your silver—not a single farthing.
market. He can not be fooled about that. But when the gold
Mr. President, I have shown the difficulties in the way and standard is banished and a depreciated silver standard takes its



place in tlie country tlien lie has two standards instead of one,
the standard of the commercial world in Europe and a standard
below that at home and constantly tending- downward. Silver
has fallen as much as 10 per cent in one week this year. If the
farmer has to insure a,gainst the depreciation of silver, which
he does, and if the depreciation is 10 per cent, when we remember that the annual value of farm products is $4,500,000,000,
the price he will pay for his flexible whistle will be four hundred and fifty milli ns a year. All of our statesmen have denounced the plunder of labor by a depreciated currency and
an unstable standard of value, and none of them have been
more emphatic than Mr. Jefferson. He has told us of the continental money and the paper money issued by the States, the
whole of which, exceeding five hundred millions, perished in the
hands of its holders. Re has told us of the French assignats that
were issued to the amount of 89,000,000,000, every dollar of which
perished, but while it was in existence and continually depreciating and continually being forced by governmental power on
the people, was gradually defrauding and ruining them, and
when it passed out of existence it left poverty and ruin behind it.
During- our second war with Great Britain the country was
on a depreciated standard again, and in a letter written in 1813
to John W . Eppes he says:
The overbearing clamor of merchants, speculators, and projectors will
drive us before them with our eyes open, until, as in France under the
Mississippi bubble, our citizens will be overtaken by the crash of this baseless fabric, without other satisfaction than that of execrations on the heads
of those functionaries who, from ignorance, pusillanimity, or corruption,
have betrayed the fruits of their industry into the hands of projectors and

I submit the following extracts from his writings, which I
commend to the consideration of the people to-day.
In a letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, January 16,1814, he says:
Everything predicted by the enemies of banks in the beginning is now coming to pass. We are to bo ruined -now by the deluge of bank paper as we
were formerly by the old continental paper. It is cruel that such revolutions in private fortunes should be at the mercy of avaricious adventurers, who, instead of employing their capital, if any they have, in manufactures, commerce, and other useful pursuits, make it an instrument to burden all the interchanges of property with their swindling profits—profits
which are the price of no useful "industry of theirs. Prudent, men must be
on their guard in this game of "Hobin's alive," and take care, that the spark
does not extinguish in their hands. I am an enemy to all banks discounting bills or notes for anything but coin, but our whole country is so fascinated
by this jack-o'-lantern wealth that they will not stop short of its total and fatal

(The editor of Jefferson's Works says: " This accordingly took
place four years after.")
In a letter to James Monroe, October 16, 1814, Mr. Jefferson

Let us be allured by no projects of banks, public or private, or -ephemeral
expedients, which, enabling us to grasp and flounder a little longer, only increase, by protracting, the agonies of death.

In a letter to M. Correa de Serra, December 27, 1814, he said:
But when called on to name prices, what is to be said? Our dropsical
medium is long since divestc-d of the quality of a medium of value.

To Mr. Gallatin, October 16, 1815:

* * * W e are now without any common measure of the value of property, and private fortunes are up or down at the will of the worst of our
citizens. Yet there is no hope of relief f r o m the Legislatures who have immediate control over this subject.. As little seems to be known of the principles of political economy as if nothing had ever been written or practiced
on the subject, or as was known in old times when the Jews had their rulers
under the hammer. It is an evil, therefore, which we must make up our
nitons to endure as those of hurricanes, earthquakes, and other casualties;
let us turn over, therefore, another leaf.

In a letter to Col. Yancey, January 6,1816, he says:
Like a dropsical man calling out for water, water, our deluded citizens are
clamoring for more banks, more banks. The American mind is now in that
state of fever which the world has so often seen in the history of other nations. W e are under the bank bubble, as England was under the South Sea
bubble, France under the Mississippi bubble, and as every nation is liable to
be under whatever bubble, design, or delusion may puff up in moments when
off their guard. W e are now taught to believe that legerdemain tricks upon
paper can produce as solid wealth as hard labor in the -earth. It is in vain
for common sense to urge that nothing can produce nothing', that it is an
idle dream to believe in a philosopher's stone which is to turn everything
into gold and to redeem man from the original sentence of his Maker: ••in
the sweat of his brow shall he eat his bread."

In a letter to Dr. Josephus B. Stuart, May 10, 1817, in speaking of our disposition to imit:ate England, he says:
The bank mania is one of the most threatening of these imitations. It is
raising up a moneyed aristocracy in our country which has already set the
Government at defiance, and although forced at length to yield a little on
this first essay of their strength, their principles are unyielded and unyielding. These have taken deep root in the hearts of that class from which our
legislator's are drawn, and the sop to Cerberus from fable has become history, Their principles lay hold of the good, their pelf of the bad, and thus
those whom the Constitution had placed as guards to its portals, are sophisticated or suborned from their duties. That paper money has some advantages is admitted. But that its abuses also are inevitable, and by breaking
up the measure of value, makes a lottery of all private property, can not be
denied. Shall we ever be able to put a constitutional veto on it?

In a letter to Nathaniel Macon, January 12,1819:
There is, indeed, one evil which awakens me a.t times because it jostles me
at every turn. It is that we have now no measure of value. I am asked $18
f o r a yard of broadcloth, which, when we had dollars, I used to get for 18

shillings; f r o m t h i s I can o n l y u n d e r s t a n d t h a t a d o l l a r is n o w w o r t h b u t 2
inches of broadcloth, b u t b r o a d c l o t h is n o s t a n d a r d of m e a s u r e o r value.
d o n o t k n o w , therefore, w h e r e a b o u t s I s t a n d i n t h e scale of p r o p e r t y , n o r
w h a t t o ask, o r w h a t t o g i v e f o r i t . I s a w , i n d e e d , t h e l i k e m a c h i n e r y i n act i o n i n t h e y e a r s 1780 a n d 1781, a n d w i t h o u t d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n ; b e c a u s e i n w e a r i n g o u t i t w a s w o r i u n g o u t o u r s a l v a t i o n . B u t I see n o t h i n g i n t h e r e n e w a l
of t h i s g a m e of " R o o m s alive " b u t a g e n e r a l d e m o r a l i z a t i o n of the n a t i o n ,
a filching f r o m m l u s t ^ l t s h o r ^ o t e
u n g - ^ h e ' e w i t h t o b u i l d u p palaces,
and raise g a m b
g s o^k f o i
\ i
d s i rers, w h o a r e t o c l o s e , t o o ,
t h e i r career c n i i ^ le b , f r ^ u l i .
r t-nes. M y d e p e n d e n c e f o r a
remedy, how* e
it t o w i
o n
I <->_
o\ s w i t h 'time a n d s u f f e r i n g '
Whether the i
i ioi
j - J 10 c v i r t u o u s t h a n t h e i r p r e d o .
c e s s o r s , I c a n 10
b it a a a
' f ^
l l n tve m o r e w o r l d l y w i s d o m a n d e n o u g h , 1 n o p e , t o k n o w t n a t h o n e s t y i s t h e first c h a p t e r i n t h e b o o k o f

In a letter to M r . Adams, March 21, 1819, he says:
T h ° o v • ^ o f tn> • d e W ,e o f p a p e r m o i l ' y a r e n .t t o be r e m o v e d u n t i l o u r
c' m i l
we g n i :aJJ r a xd i\i i ^ i l r y i n - . RIKTN-1
t n e i r cause a n d conseq u ^ < c-,, a n d » i l u r " e bv t h ^ i r
.crity • h" iui3iv-"ed clamors and sophistry
• ' <ng s"I I m * ? a d b ILL
I I * 4n u o I
I i l l t h e n WE m u s t b e c o n 1
t-ni. t o l e t u r n a / o 1 h i
t j th > - ^ <
barter in the exchange
) n I M m I UM o f v a l u e , t h a t n o w i n
n r p r o p v t v f o r v a n * - o f a 1 11
i \ 1
la t t h l - l i e o u l
« 1 L >v t r p i n o r t h e I n d i a n , a n d t o d e l i v e r u p u u r ' " i t i T -s t l ^ n r
" . r i d 11» c 1 i b r , p a s s i v e v i c t i m s t o t h e
s \ u i d l i n g t a k Oi. b a n ' o r a n 1 m t n - ' o n •» o

In a Uit^r to John Adims. da^eJ November 7, 1819, he says:
Tae pap r bu n ^ i s t i M b < m
y o u a* d I a n l e v e r y r e a - ^ o n i ) r :ii. a s j l u e i b v n i o l i ^ i v o n<nid o ; m ^ r
l o n g 'orcr-ecii;
x ^ a 1n y \
i 1 -> o " n t , v i n * o > n i f o : v s e r , ; i .
"Wo w e r e
L tn-ji
a >i , *n u ' ^ r a o r ^ a r ' 1 1 a n ^ e - o f c l \ . l a n n 2,
X e a r l y a l l of i t
L1 » I ] n
' b mcs, V
I i \ e t \ e r e g u a t i o n of the safety v a l v e s
0 'o o t
n v, c - i d <v 10 , o l i - n - 1 a n 1 e x p l o d e \ d q i i a t t h e i r w i l l .
Lands in
v'BRF S >1 L i o • a y j v '

Iii a letter to Mr. Rives, date! November 23, 1819, he says:
T n e d i s t r e - s e , - o f o u r c o u n t r y , p •«> l u c ; 1 i i r s t b.y t h e floo 1 t h e n b y t h e e b b
o f o a n k p.i-per. ' i r e s u j h
c m n >t. 1 ;>uii t o
the i n c n ' o o s i t i o n of the
Legi-1 a iilv.
I f w e s u t f »r t l i ^ n u ' c a i u f t l i e p r e s e n t l e s s o n t o p a s s
a w , < y v . n t ' i o y . i m p r o v e ] i u n t o y 1 ac e ^ e r M l s a p x r e ^ s l o n o i b a n k p a p e r , t h e n
ince.ali.> tlie c o n a i i i
o f o a r c o j n t r y .i j
\ U u t i l t l i e MO Ar a d v a n c e o f
p a d i e i i i s i L'a2ti<)n s i j a l l g i v e t o o u r f u n c r i . j . a a L - i e s t h e w i s l o r n o f t h e i r s t a tion.

In this letter he spo -ks of a pi i:i for reducing the circulating
medium, m which he says:

RI I L> ( 1
O U»J CIR u i a t i a , m e d i u m w h i . - h r a i s e d t h e p r i c e s OF e v e r y t h i n g
1 )
i TT* t > j.r o r i i n a r y a n a -it m a i v i v a l u e , i n w n i c h s t a ^ e o f t h i n g s
v «. > i
i v y ie
ere o . i r i a v a . o i au'l t h e s u d d e n w i t h d r a w i n g t o o
i o x ) t i ) J. o p t u t i n ^ l i u i i , a n I r e d a c t i o n o f p r i c e s fa:* b e l o w ' t h a t
-j 1 i o t j
ci n
l e d i s-'aso u i i ' l e r ' . . d u c i i Vv'e a r e n o w l a b o r i n g , a n d v / h i c h
m i t f 1 ""i c
J i - o v o P i t i jA o f p r o p e r t y i f s o m e r e m e d y i s n o t a p p l i e d ,
l j j i JL< UI d \ x c l c
ly a g r . i . i k m- In a i o n o f t l u m e J i u i n t o i t s s t a n d a r d
" ^
to u
1 -> t l n j
vrir'ch a mettiULc m e d i u m w i l l ahvays
t i 1
o 1
o oe t f i c n i V '>:• -) w i t h t l i a t o f t h e n a t i o n s ^v i t h w h i c h w e
have commerco. *
1 f , >j.e^ i t ^ b o t h t h i S l a t e a ^ d n a t i o n a l g o v e r n m e n t s , t h e p o w e r
<i ^
i ) xb t n
l ^ i v r b u i k . for w i t h o u t tnis in\erdictioii we shall have
t e
u r. i
. n l a ) \ v s o f T i n l i u . n a n d the s a m e r e v o l u t i o n s of p r o p e r t y
> bio ^ i t ^ n
veucy or t h i r t y y e i r s . * * * C e r t a i n l y n o n a t i o n
o n
>e 1 t j t h j j i v a r i ' j o a n d j u ^ g l i n g s o f p r i v a t e I n d i v i d u a l s
i ; a u a a c
o l i u , t o i h e n ' o w n int-a*j->t-;. t h 3 q u a n t u m o f c i r c u l a t i n g
i aii u ^ / r ^ n
' o i t o inQate b y d e l a t e i of p i p e r t h e n o m i n a l p r i c e s o f
' i i i at n t ) o u y u p t l . a t p r o : ) e r i y a t i n t h e p o u n d , h a v i n g
w a a ' ai'vn t r - ^ u r t i n g m e d i u m w h i c h m i g h t endanger a c o m p e t i t i o n i n



l^t^ i to u . Nelson, March 12, 1820, ho says:

i n i o x l i t i n i of u n p a r a l l e l e d d i s t r e s s . T h e s u d d e n r e d u c TXOI' > H^ c
L i in m a a i u n i f r o m a p l e t h o r a to all b u t a n n i h i l a t i o n is prodrn ^
e n r x » i ^ o n i o n oi f o r t u n e .
In other places I have k n o w n lands
h n i t l o o ne y e a r ' s r e n t . O u r p r o d u c e i s n o w s e l l i n g a t m a r k e t
s > 1 j i 'i
3 b e f o r e t h i s c o m m e r c i a l c a t a s t r o p h e , s a y flour a t
^ j ~> ^ i W ) 1
j r 1, W e s h o u l d h a v e l e s s r i g h t t o e x p e c t r e l i e f f r o m o u r
W x 1 to s i t t ^
1 aeen t h e e s t a b i i s h e r s o f t h e u n w i s e syst-.'-n of b a n k s .
A i m p 1 lO t c
'P d e g r e e w a s p r a c t i c a b l e , t h a t o f r e d u c i n g t h e q u a n t
i o'(
i t ^Li. y- l
aaliy to a l evel w i t h t h a t of t h e c o u n t r i e s w i t h w h i c h
i c ; * 1 x
n d a n e t e r n a l a b j u r a t i o n o f pax>er.

. PiVoir1' it the utterances from Mr. Jefferson are against
st ird u d aid a paper currency circulating on that standard o it the Lcct of any depreciated standard of value is the
The iluct i itions of paper can be more extended than that
oL silver, bee u e of the greater facility of issuing it and the
greater amount to which it can be issued. But after the greater
and more universal standard has been supplanted by the lesser
and local standard, the evils entailed to the extent of its fluctuations are the same. A silver standard that fluctuated from par
to 50 per cent under par, when compared with the gold standard of the commercial world, would cost the laboring classes of
our people many hundreds of millions yearly.
Day by day as silver fluctuated the products of their labor
would pay to speculators, shavers., and brokers the price of that
fluctuation. There is no security to labor but in a standard as
stable, inflexible, and immovable as possible. That standard
which is most universally used is for th at reason the most stable.
Larger bodies present greater resistance to opposing forces,
while smaller bodies give way. A local standard in the United
Statas at variance with the commercial world would be mercurial in its nature, always moving and every move inflicting a loss
on some one.
The President in his message has told us that the wage-earner is
the first to be injured and the last to be relie ved from the effects of
a depreciated currency. The Democratic platform says the same
thing, and it is really a pleasure to be able to assure our friends

tliat on this point he is certainly on the platform, whoever is off.
This is a well-established fact, but I can not deny myself the
pleasure of presenting the proofs in such a way that no one can
entertain a doubt of the fact he has stated, and if the fact is established beyond a doubt wo should hesitate a long time before
we introduce a depreciated standard in the stead of the one we
now have. When a banker, a capitalist, or trader finds the
market not favorable for his investment he can lock up his
money or hold on to his property and wait for a more favorable
turn, but when the laborer is thrown out of employment and the
day is gone his day's work is gone from him forever. He can
not hoard a day's labor. It is lost.
Mr. President, the wages of labor in this country and all over
the world for a hundred years have-been tending upward. They
are higher to-day than they have been at any time in the past,
and the wage-earner, in whatever occupation employed, is deeply
interested in the preservation of a standard of values as fixed
and immovable as it is possible to make it. A few years ago our
friends on the other side the Chamber directed the Committee
on Finance to make an investigation and report to this body the
movement of wages and prices for a number of years. They took
the year 1880 as a basis and compared it and other years with 1890.
They intended to use these figures in their tariff battle of 1892.
They intended to show that wages had been rising and prices
had been falling, and the credit was due to a protective tariff.
When that'time comes, I will discuss with them the conclusions to be drawn from these facts. It is enough here to state
the facts. Taking 1800 as the basis and calling it 100, the rate
of wages increased to 1864 to 125.6 or 25.6 per cent, and to 1890
to 160.7 or 60.7 per cent. In 1860 and 1890 there was a gold
standard, and in 1864 a depreciated paper standard. Wages
went up in four years 25.6 per cent, but the money which the
laborer earned was only the instrument which enabled him to
procure the necessaries of life, and while it went up the ladder a
few rounds, the necessaries of life that his wages had to buy to sustain himself, his wife, and children, had ascended the rounds of
the ladder till they were lost in the clouds. The annual average wages of laborers in manufactories in 1860 was $288.95.
The average monthly wage was $24.08, in gold. In 1864 it was
25.6 higher, or $30.24 cents in paper, and in 1890 it was 60.7 per
cent higher than in 1860, and was $38.69 cents in gold. Now
taking the official prices given by the Bureau of Statistics and
the Finance Committee,the result is shown by the following table:
Purchasing power of wages of labor.



Standard sheeting, per
Standard drilling, per
Bleached shirting, per
Standard prints, p e r
Print cloth, per yard
Cut nails, per pound
Heiined sugar,per pound.
New Orleans molasses,
per gallon
R i o coffee, per pound
Tea, per pound
Ticking, per yard
Matches, per gross
Denims, per yard


Monthly wages, Monthly wages, Monthly wages.
Price per
unit of Quan- unit of Quan- unit of QuanQuanquanquantity.














36. 00








10. 64




18. 50






12. 00


The articles given in the table show that his wages with a
gold standard bought three times as much as under a depreciated paper standard. And the same would have been the resuit under a depreciated silver standard if it had fallen to the
same extent. Paper money depreciated 50 per cent in 1864, and
silver touched 49 within the last six months. To explain, let us
take the first article. Standard sheeting was worth in gold in
1860 8.73 cents per yard, and $24.08, one month's wages, would buy
275 yards. In 1864, with a paper standard, a month's wages had
increased to $30.24 in paper. The sheeting had increased to 52.07
cents per yard, and his month's wages would only buy 58 yards.
His month's wages had lost in purchasing power 217 yards.
In 1890 the gold standard obtained again, his wages went on
increasing, but the speculation and cheating and swindling were
eliminated from the necessaries of life, and now his wages are
$38.69 per month and the sheeting has come down to 6.83 cents
per yard and his month's wages under a gold standard buys 566
yards, or nearly ten times as much as he got nnder the depreciated standard. Every other article shows the same result.

From 1860 to 1864 the wages of labor advanced 25.6 per cent, but
the things he had to buy greatly exceeded the increase of what
he had to sell. House-furnishing goods increased 64.6 per cent,
food 65.8 per cent, drugs and medicines 70.3 per cent, metals
and implements of labor 79.8 per cent, fuel and lighting 80.2
per cent, lumber and building materials 121.3 per cent, and
clothing 160.7 per cent, while the average of all was 90.5 per
cent. But many of the articles he had to buy far exceeded
these. Let me enumerate some of them.
He had to pay in 1864, under a depreciated standard, 60 per cent
more for pocketknives, 6 ±.9 percent more for rope, 68.8per cent
more for refined sugar, 70 per cen t more for wash tubs, 79.4 par cent
more for two-ply ingrain'carpefcs,87.7 per cent more for all-wool
cassimeres, 96 per cent more for pine plank, 101 per cent more
for glass goblets, 105 percent more for glass bowls, 110 per cent
more for pine plank planed, 114 per cent more for shingles, 117.4
per cent more for castile soap, 125 per cent more for glass tumblers, 125 per cent more for pipe lead, 130.6 per cent more for pig
lead, 140 per cent more for Turk's Island salt, 145 per cent more
for window-glass, 150 per cent more for linseed-oil, 143.6 percent
more for stove coal, 150 per cent more for nails, 166.6 per cent
more for shirtings, 166.7 per cent more for scythes, 195.5 per
cent more for quinine, 223 per cent more for calico, 246 per cent
more for pepper, 279.3 per cent more for denims, 349.2 per cent
more for drillings, 404.6 per cent more for sheetings, 620 per cent
more for tar, 800 per cent more for turpentine, 858 per cent more
for shawls.
These prices show that, while the wage-earner got under a
depreciated currency an increase in wages of 25.6 per cent, he had
to pay for what he bought all the way from 68 per cent to 858 per
cent increase. Well did Mr. Webster say that " a sound currency is an essential and indispensable security for the fruits of
industry and honest enterprise; " that the medium of exchange
should be " a substantial representative of property, not liable to
vibrate with opinions, not subject to be blown up or blown down
by the breath of speculation, but made stable and secure by its
immediate relation to that which the whole world regards as of
a permanent value."
A disordered currency—

Says he—*

is one of the greatest of political evils. It undermines the virtues necessary f o r the support of the social system and encourages propensities destructive of its happiness. It wars against industry, frugality, and economy. and it festers the evil spirit of extravagance and speculation. Of all
the contrivances f o r cheating the laboring classes of mankind none has been
m o r e effectual than that which deludes them with paper money= This is the
m o s t effectual of methods to fertilize the rich man's Held by the sweat of
the p o o r man's brow. Ordinary tyranny, oppression, excessive taxation,
these bear lightly o n the happiness of the mass of the community compared
with a fraudulent currency and the robberies committed by a depreciated
paper. Our own history has recorded f o r our instruction enough, and m o r e
than enough, of the demoralizing tendency, the inj ustice, and the intolerable
oppression on the virtuous and well-disposed of a degraded paper currency
authorized by law or in any manner countenanced by government.

On the 12th of March, 1845, when Texas was preparing to enter
the Union, General Jackson wrote to General Houston—perhaps
the last letter he ever wrote to his life-long friend—urging him to
exert his influence to have an interdiction placed in our constitution against a degraded paper currency. In that letter he says:
But to protect y o u r morals and to cap the c l i m a x of your prosperity, and
to protect the labor of your country, y o u must provide in your constitution
by a positive provision that y o u r Legislature never shall establish a bank, or
any corporation whatever, with a p o w e r to issue paper; that no banks shall
be established by the Legislature except on a specie basis, and then only with
the powers of receiving deposits and exchange.
There never was, or ever could be, use f o r any other kind, e x c e p t f o r speculators and gamblers in stocks, and this to the utter ruin of the labor and
morals of a country, A specie currency gives life and action to the producing classes, on which the prosperity of all is founded.

The Constitution of that year did embrace the interdiction, and
its very words have been brought forward in every constitution
of the State since, and it so stands in the constitution of to-day.
A depreciated paper standard was the evil that affected the
country when Jefferson and Jackson and Webster and other
statesmen of their time denounced the injustice and wrong of a
disordered currency.
A t that time the two money metals had not so far separated as
to make a remote possibility that one of them would evop foe
made the instrument with which to perpetrate that train of
abuses. But now, when that fact confronts us, if we degrade our
standard below that of the commercial world and take silver or
any other metal for our local standard, we can and will with it
bring the same abuses that was brought in former years with
paper. The history of our own country and the facts there given
should make the the laboring people cling with the tenacity of
the mariner to the last plank of the shipwreck to a stable standard of value which prevents him from being cheated and defrauded by speculators, gamblers, and stockjobbers.
Mr. President, I have seen a table which, has been going the
rounds in the speeches of Senators and members of the House
which showed in parallel columns the fall in the price of silver
and corn and cotton and wheat. Some very eminent Senators


by the armies of the Roman Emperor. He came to the verse,
" L e t him which is on the house top not come down to take anything out of his house," and then took his text in the middle of
the verse " t o p not come down." [Laughter.]
I do not know whether the pious fraud was a success or not,
but the plan outlined by the minister of bringing things down
by dividing the text did not die with that generation. W h y
did not the architect of that table take manufactured products
as well. I have constructed a table which I present here for the
consideration of the public. I have taken the prices of silver
from the report of the Director of the Mint. The prices of cotton, corn, wheat, bacon, lard, pork, beef, butter, cheese, and
tobacco I have taken from the Statistical Abstract. These are
the articles which the farmer sells. Then I have taken the
articles which the farmer buys. Some of them are from the
Statistical Abstract and others from the report of the Committee
on Finance; the freight rates are from Poor's Manual, a standard
authority on railway matters. The articles which the f armer
buys are refined eugar, nails, iron, coffee, tea, sheeting, drilling,
shirting, standard prints, print cloth, quinine, goblets, window
glass, undershirts, ginghams, carpets, pepper, and molasses. I
have also included steel rails and freight"rates. All these articles have fallen since 1873, as is shown by the table.

have copied it. It was a littie strange that this table stopped
wit-h the principal farm products. It only showed the decline
in the price of what farmers sold but not what they bought.
This is a very one-sided table. Prices have been going down on
all things, but less in agricultural products than on other things,
and for a reason which I will give you.
This one-sided table reminds me of a story I heard when a boy.
A pious pastor had discovered a young sister who was becoming
vain and worldly minded, and so much had she become addicted
to the ways of the world that she wound her rich suit of hair
into a knot and wore it as a topknot. It was supposed to be
charming to the beaux. This vanity vexed the righteous soul of
the pious man of God and he went to the erring sister and told
her she was incurring the divine displeasure by sporting the topknot, and told her she must desist. She was in a strait, but
great as was the cross she resolved to bear it if Bible authority
could be produced in condemnation of her topknot, and she so
informed her minister. He said, " My dear sister, you come to
church next Sunday and I will show you the word of the Lord
specially pronounced against topknots." When Sunday came
she went to church, and after the morning exercises were over
the minister took his text from thatchapter in which our Saviour
was foretelling the destruction of Jerusalem which was to occur

Prices of certain products from



$1.32 $1.004





















11. 1








1. 25


7. 5





9. 4
7. 0
7c 1





















<M U

02 5

m .


%- CDft







Average decrease



2. 57
2. 39
2. 33

1. 8 6


67.00 94.25
52.00 59.25
45.00 45. 50
44.00 42.25
51.00 48.25
58.00 61.13
50.00 37.75
44.00 30.75
40.00 28.50
43.00 34.50
49.00 37.08
44.00 29.83
43. CO 29.25
45.00 31.75
42. 00 29. 92












13. 31 14.13
11.42 11.75
10.41 11.12
8. 32 7.11
7. 28 6.86


Average reduction in ten farm products, 26.1.











6.69 $2. 65
5.57 2. 50
5. 33 2.25
4.10 2.00
4.38 3.00
3.44 3.50
3.93 3.60
4.51 3.00
3.95 2.60
3.76 2.45
6.00 3.60 1.80
6.00 3.36 1.43
6.00 3.12
6.00 3.31, .70
10.88 6.00 3.33
10.94 6.50 3.81 .49
10.50 6.50 3.81 .38
10.90 6.00 3.34 .35
10.64 6.00 2.95 .30
45 47 56



>3.40 $1.41
2.97 1.25
3.18 1.12
3.08 1.00
2.97 .91
2.42 .87
2.42 .83
2.42 .83
2. 29 .79
1.91 .70
28 2.04
28 1.70
27 1.76
26 1.70
26 1.70
25 1.70 .62




13 Bl. 14
11 1.02


Average reduction in nineteen other products, 55.4.



11. 1

Articles that farmers buy.



Cheese, per pound.


Average decrease



Beef, per pound.


3on and hams, per



Articles that farmers sell.




1873 to 1891.






It is now and has been contended that cotton, wheat, and corn
have been brought down by the closing of our mints to the unlimited coinage of silver. If that be true the same cause must
have brought down the other articles. Why was not the fall in
cotton the cause of the fall in silver? It has been claimed all
along that the increased supply of silver and the decreased demand by the successive closing of the mints of the world had
progressively reduced its price. And that is a logical conclusion! In 1873, when silver was at par with gold at 16 to 1, the
world's annual production of silver bullion was 63,000,000ounces;
it is now 152,000,000.
This shows a very great increase in supply, while demand has
been falling off very greatly. Silver therefore has been declining in obedience to law, and cotton and corn and wheat not in
obedience to any law, they tell us, but out of pure sympathy with
silver. If sympathy instead of a law of trade has caused other
commodities to decline, it has not been confined to cotton, corn,
and wheat. This table shows that from 1873 to 1891 silver fell
26 par cent, cotton 53, corn 6, wheat 30, bacon and hams 14, lard
25, pork 24, beef 27, butter 32, cheese 31, and tobacco 19. These
are the articles which farmers sell. The average decline of the
ten articles is 26.1 per cent between 1873 and 1891. Duringthe
same time refined sugar declined 50 per cent, nails 62, bar iron
51, steel rails 75, Rio coffee 11, tea 73, sheeting 48, drilling 55,
shirting 45, standard prints 47, print cloth 56, quinine 89, glass
goblets 70,10 by 14 window glass 50, undershirts 56, ginghams 54,
carpets 56, pepper 52, molasses 53.
These are the articles the farmer buys. Now, if what he buys
declines at an equal ratio with what he sells he is just as well off
at one time as another. But if what he buys falls more in price
than what he sells he is benefited. When we average the articles he buys we find that the decline is 55.4 per cent, so if the
logic of our friends is correct the demonetization of silver has
been a boon to him. He has been benefited by the fall in prices,
but the decline in silver has had nothing to do with it, Our
friends on the other side of the Chamber will contend that a protective tariff did it. Some gentlemen in and out of Congress last
year contended that'' options " and '' futures " did it, and the same
persons now contend that closing the mints to silver did it. They
arc all wrong. Closing the markets had a great deal to do with
the decline of agricultural products, and the increased productive
power of steam and machinery had more to do with reducing the
price of manufactured articles.
These prices in the tabic show conclusively that the farmer
has been benefited by the general fall of prices, because his
products would buy more in 1891 than in 1873. In 1873 cotton
was worth 18.8 cents per pound, raid 1,000 pounds was worth
$188, and at that time it would buy 766 gallons of illuminating
oil, or 1,620 pounds of refined sugar, or 4A- tons of pig iron, or 2
tons of bar iron, or H tons of steel rails, or 3,832 pounds of nails,
or 1,412 yards of sheeting, or 1,330 yards of drilling, or 970 yards
of shirting, or 1,653 yards of standard prints, or 2,810 yards of
print cloth: while in 1891 1,000 pounds of cotton was worth. $100,
and at the prices of these same things at that time it would buy
1,428 gallons of oil, 1,754 pounds of sugar, 51 tons of pig iron, 21
tons of bar iron,
tons of steel rails, 5,322 pounds of cut nails,
1,404 yards of sheeting, 1,560 yards of drilling, 940 yards of shirting, 1,666 yards of prints, and 3,389 yards of print'cloth.
With the exception of shirting, it would buy more of every
other article enumerated, and the difference in that was very
small. One thousand pounds of beef would buy in 1873 281 gallons of oil, 555 pounds of sugar, 1,282 pounds oi' nails, 490 yards
of sheeting, 462 yards of drilling, 338 yards of shirting, 583 yards
of prints, or 888 yards of print cloth; while in 1891 it would buy
800 gallons of oil, 982 pounds of refined sugar, 3,010 pounds of
nails, 849 yards of sheeting, 873 yards of drilling, 526 yards of
shirting, 933 yards of standard prints, or 1,898 yards of print cloth.
One thousand pounds of pork would buy in 1873 289 gallons of
oil, 571 pounds of refined sugar, 1,319 pounds of nails, 504 yards
of sheeting, 475 yards of drilling, 348 yards of shirting, 600 yards
of standard prints, or 914 yards of print cloth, while in 1891 it
would buy 842 gallons of oil, 1,035 pounds of refined sugar, 3,172
pounds of nails, 863 yards of sheeting, 920 yards of drilling, 554
yards of shirting, 983 yards of standard prints, Or 2,000 yards of
print cloth.
One thousand pounds of bacon and hams would buy, in 1873,
345 gallons of oil, 682 pounds of refined sugar, 1,554 pounds of
nails, 602 yards of sheeting, 568 yards of drilling, 415 yards of
shirting, 716 yards of standard prints, or 1,091 yards of print
cloth; while in 1891 it would buy 1,085 gallons of oil, 1,157 pounds
of refined sugar, 4,086 pounds of nails, 1,111 yards of sheeting,
1,185 yards of drilling, 7l4 yards of shirting, 1,266 yards of standard prints, or 2,576 yards of print cloth.
One thousand pounds of butter would buy, in 1873, 779 gallons
of oil, 1,539pounds of refined sugar, 3,553 pounds of nails, 1,359
yards of sheeting, 1,281 yards of drilling, 938 yards of shirting,


1,616 yards of standard prints, or 2,461 yards of print cloth; while
in 1891 it would buy 2,071 gallons of oil, 2,543 pounds of refined
sugar, 7,795 pounds of nails, 2,123 yards of sheeting, 2,262 yards
of drilling, 1,362 yards of shirting, 2,416 yards of standard prints,
or 4,915 yards of print cloth.
One thousand pounds of tobacco in 1873 would buy 413 gallons
of oil, 833 pounds of sugar, 1,886 pounds of nails, 721 yards of sheeting, 680 yards of drilling, 498 yards of shirting, 858 yards of
standard prints, or 1,307 yards of print cloth; while in 1891 it
would buy 1,243 gallons of oil, 1,526 pounds of refined sugar, 4,677
pounds of nails, 1,273 yards of sheeting, 1,357 yards of drilling,
817 yards of shirting, 1,450yards of standard prints, or 2,949 yards
of print cloth.
One hundred bushels of corn in 1873 would buy 279 gallons of
oil, 551 pounds of refined sugar, 1,273 pounds of nails, 487 yards
of sheeting, 458 yards of drilling, 336 yards of shirting, 579 yards
of standard prints, or 881 yards of print cloth; while in 1891 it
would buy 820 gallons of oil, 1,007 pounds of refined sugar, 3,086
pounds of nails, 840 yards of sheeting, 896 yards of drilling, 539
yards of shirting, 956 yards of standard prints, or 1,954 yards of
print cloth.
One hundred bushels of wheat in 1873 would buy 590 gallons of
oil, 1,176 pounds of refined sugar, 2,509 pounds of nails, 1,030 yards
of sheeting, 934 yards of drilling, 611 yards of shirting, 1,225
yards of standard prints, or 1,840 yards of print cloth; while in
1891 it would buy 1,323 gallons of oil, 1,631 pounds of refined sugar,
5,000 pounds of nails, 1,342 yards of sheeting, "1,453 yards of drilling, 853 yards of shirting, 1,550 yards of standard prints,or 2,784
yards of print cloth.
From these figures, and maybe extended to other articles, it
is clear and conclusive that the decline in prices has given all
farm products a greater purchasing power. And yet it is urged
that opening our mints to the unlimited coinage of silver will
restore its price of 1873; and as all products have fallen through
pure sympathy with it they will still sympathize with it and
rise to their prices of 1873. If they did, the farmers would be
ruined. If he is oppressed now, he would be confronted with
bankruptcy if one-half or one-third of the purchasing power of
his products should be taken away, and that would be the effect
of a restoration all around of the condition of 1873. In that year
the freight rats per ton per mile was 2 cents; in 1891 the freight
rate per ton per mile was .929 of 1 cent, and 81,210,154,523 tons
were moved 1 mile by ail our railroads, for which at the rate of
.929 of 1 cent, they received as freight charges $754,185,910.
If the opening of the mints to free coinage is to restore the
price of silver ami all other articles to the rate of 1873, then that
freight would, cost $1,624,203,090. And that is much more than
twice the sum that was paid in 1891. Did silver bring these
freight rates down? Then to restore silver is to carry back the
freight rates to 1873. It is said that gold has gone up and left
all these articles, and the decline in all priccsls taken as the
measure of the appreciation of gold. Gold has risen in value
because of its relative decline in production and the increased
demand for its consumption in the arts.
But the commodities have declined very much more than gold
has risen, because the forces operating on their production and
consumption are much more potent than those operating on the
production and consumption of gold. What are these forces?
Reduction of the cost of production, the increased power of production, invention of machinery, steam machinery. Any man
who will go through our factories in New England or elsewhere
will see machinery doing almost everything that man can do,
except talk. You see in many things one man doing ten times
the amount of work to-day with a machine that was done by one
man twenty-five year ago.
What has brought down the price of nails? It is the nail machine. What has brought down the price of pins and needles
but machinery? What has brought down the price of steel rails,
which were worth $100 a ton?
Mr. MITCHELL of Oregon. The protective tariff.
Mr. MILLS. The Senator is saying that too soon. He will
be saying that a few weeks from now when we get the tariff bill
Mr. President, did a protective tariff of $45 a ton on steel rails,
which were worth about $45 a ton, bring down the price to $25?
Does adding to the cost of a thing reduce the price of the thing?
I am not now going to discuss this question with my friend from
Oregon. I shall have a day in court when the tariff bill arrives.
Why is it that the prices of manufactured products have gone
down faster than the prices of agricultural products? Because
machinery is more used in manufactures than in agriculture.
Mr. G R A Y . Will my friend allow me just there?
Mr. MILLS. Certainly.
Mr. GRAY. In reply to the suggestion that came from the
other side about a tariff, and which will come constantly, I wish
to say that if the tariff is the origin of all this beneficent reduc-



tion in the prices of the necessaries of life, the reductions the
Senator is speaking- of in their general trend and condition are
world-wide and not confined to the United States.
Mr. MILLS. When we get to the tariff we shall talk about
all these things.
Mr. MITCHELL of Oregon. Allow me at that point to say a
Mr. MILLS. The Senator can not get me into a discussion of
the tariff at this time.
Mr. MITCHELL of Oregon. The protective tariff on steel
rails resulted in reducing the price by the building up of and the
stimulating of that industry in this country.
Mr. MILLS. That is your old argument. Bessemer had more
to do with it than the protective tariff.
Mr. HA W L E Y . I do not want to lead the Senator away from
his extremely interesting argument, but I really wish he would
incidentally mention the fact that the rewards of labor have gone
up all the while.
Mr. MILLS. I said that some time ago, but my friend was not
listening to me. I have said that for a hundred years the wages
of labor have constantly been going up and are going up yet.
W h y is it, Mr. President, that the wages of labor are constantly
going up when the prices of commodities which labor makes are
constantly going down? It is simply because the production of
things increased faster than the production of labor. Human
hands and arms and legs can not be produced as fast as machinery. That is why it is. It is a beneficent law of God for the
benefit of humanity, and will continue to be so.
The wages of labor are constantly getting higher and higher,
and the wage-worker is constantly getting more and more of the
product of his labor in reward for his toil. And this happy result
is because his work is becoming relatively scarcer and more and
more valuable to his employer. But to secure him in the great
rewards of his toil, it is necessary, absolutely necessary, that the
standard of the commercial world, which is our standard, shall
be preserved. Then he knows, and all the world knows the
value of labor and the value of the things which it is to purchase.
Mr. President, the prices of property are regulated, as I have
said, all other things being equal, by the amount of money in
circulation. I am afraid that we do not observe the distinction
between the standard of value and the volume of circulation.
Gold is the standard of value, but we have only a little over
six hundred millions of gold in the country, while we have
$2,000,000,000 in money of gold, silver, and paper in the country,
and $1,600,000,000 in circulation, or outside the Treasury. All
money not in the Treasury is said to be in. circulation, but it is
not. Much of it is never seen in market. Prices are not determined by trie six hundred millions in gold, but by the $1,600,000,000 in circulation. The gold dollar is the standard by which
every article is valued, whether it rises or falls. A great many
of our people want to change the standard of value. What for?
They say it will enable them to pay their debts so much easier.
But is it right? I have been reminded of the strong language I
used some years ago in the other House, denouncing those who
wanted to double up the obligations of the debtor class and compel them to pay twice as much as the consideration they received, and twice as much as in conscience they agreed to pay.
I repeat every w^ord of that denunciation to-day. There is a
moral obligation that enters into every contract as well as a
legal one. When two persons contract, one buys and the other
sells. A vast amount of the business of the world, and especially
of this country, is done on time. When .one promises to pay
one hundred cents it is one hundred cents on the estimated
value at the time of contract. One hundred cents of consideration, according to the then standard of value, passes from one to
the other and the promise of the debtor is based on that standard ; and when it was proposed to lessen the amount of circulation one-half to double the lesral obligation, I denounced it as
dishonest and the attempt to perpetrate a crime. A friend has
shown me the speech of an Englishman who puts that language
on the front page of one of his. I repeat now the words I then
But, amid the reckless and remorseless brutalities which have marked the
footprints of resistless power, some extenuating circumstance may be found
to qualify the punishment due to the crime. Some have been the product of the
fierce passions of war; some have resulted from the antipathies that separate alien races; some from the superstitions of opposing religions; but the
crime that is now sought to be perpetuated on more than 50,000,000 of people
comes neither from the camp of the conqueror, the hand of a foreigner, nor
the altar of anidolator; but it comes from those in whose veins runs the
blood of a common ancestry, who were born under the same skies, who
speak the same language, who were reared in the same institutions, who
were nurtured in the principles of the same religious faith.
It comes from the cold, phlegmatic, marble heart of avarice—avarice that
seeks to paralyze labor, increase the burden of debt, and fill the land with
destitution and suffering to gratify the lust for gold; avarice, surrounded by
every comfort that wealth can command, and rich enough to satisfy every

want, save that which refuses to be satisfied without the suffocation and
strangulation of all the labor in the land. With a forehead that relnses to
be ashamed, it demands of Congress an act that will paralyze all the forces
of production, shut out labor f r o m employment, increase the burden of debt
and taxation, and send desolation and suffering into the homes of the poor.
In this hour, fraught with peril to the whole country, I appeal to the unpurchased representatives of the American people to meet this bold and insolent demand like men. Let us stand in the breach and call the battle on,
and never leave the field until the people's money shall be restored to the
mint, on equal terms with gold, as it was years ago.

And there I stand to-day. If it was immoral and wicked for
the creditor to demand then twice as much as was contracted to
be paid on his debt, is it not just as immoral and wicked now for
the debtor to demand payment of one-half of his obligation? I
see no difference, yet many of our friends want to change ttie
standard because the debtor thereby can change the* contract
and pay with 50 cents, instead of 100 cents, the debt he has
promised on his honor and conscience to pay.
^ow, Mr. President, if we are going to leave out of view all
moral obligation of the contract, if it is only a legal obligation
from which the debtors seek relief, why not, in the exercise of
the constitutional provision pass a bankruptcy law, and why not
in passing that bankrupt law provide that the debtor shall pay
his creditor with a certificate of discharge and keep all his property? He will get a good deal more money that way, if the moral
obligation is to be left out of the contract entirely. " If we want to
do everything we can to release the debtor without requiring him
by law to comply with the contract which he has made, then
pass a bankrupt law and acquit him entirely and let him retain
everything that he has. I do not believe in impairing the obligation of contracts. I believe in enforcing them, and if one person has obtained the property of another by promising to pay
for it, he should be required by law to perform the contract.
Mr. President, I believe, with Thomas Jefferson, that honesty
is the first chapter in the Book of Wisdom. I denounced, as John
G. Carlisle did (but not in as strong language, because I am not
as strong a man as he is), the combination that was being formed
all over the whole earth to strike down one-half of the monetary
circulation of the world and double the value of all the contracts
on the debtors:" and 1 denounce now in this country the attempt
to shift and change the standard of values for the purpose of
enabling the debtor to cheat and defraud his creditor out of onehalf of what he has promised him, and in doing so to put the
country upon a variable and shifting standard of value by which
the people will be plundered continuously from one end of it to
the other.
Every contract now in existence in the United States made
since January 1,1879, is on the gold standard, and where a dollar
is mentioned it means a gold dollar or one as good as gold, and I
will never vote for any law that enables any man to cancel an
obligation to pay 100 cents by paying 57 cents. When a depreciated standard is substituted for the real standard of the contract, all contracts are changed, and as Mr. Jefferson repeatedly
says it works a revolution of property. It swindles a whole nation. When the Continental money perished in the hands of its
holders that was but a small part of the loss. It did not perish
until it had changed a large part of the property of the country.
When the French assignats perished the loss was not confined
to the $9,000,000,000 worth that were issued, but while they lived
they had wrought a revolution in the property of France.
Let me give you a little incident in my own experience with
Confederate money. Just before I went into the " late unpleasantness " I sold 320 acres of land in Texas for $960, gold standard.
I took the note of the purchaser with 10 per cent interest and a
lien on the land, and left it to be paid when I came back, if ever
I came back; if I did not I felt that my family would get the
benefit of it. But after the gold standard was banished and Confederate money was the standard, and after it had gone down to
50, 60, or 70 to 1, Confederate money was tendered and paid to
my family when it was practically worthless. The purchaser
got my land, discharged his obligation, and its ownership was
changed with substantially no consideration. My experience
was the experience of many thousands all through the South.
This is the treacherous working of a degraded standard of
value. As Mr. Jefferson said about Continental money, it was
our war money; and in war, when life and property and everything are freely offered, I do not complain of any sacrifice, but
in peace, when my labor and property are demanded, not by my
country, but by dishonest men who want it without consideration, I will not by any act of mine put so pernicious a power in
their hands. In 1813 Mr. Jefferson called the attention of the
people of Virginia to the fact that their business and their property were going up in a balloon. He appealed to them to begin
the work of returning to the metallic basis before the balloon
collapsed and came down with a crash. He told them that a
yard of broadcloth was then worth $18, and before the metallic
I standard had been supplanted by paper the same cloth sold for

18 shillings. While the balloon was up lands sold for $150 per
acre that were worth $40 or $50. After the collapse came it sold
for a year's rent.
And this is the standard we are invited to adopt again in lieu
of the present stable and almost immovable standard we have
had since 1834, except during the war period. Many of our farmers are demanding this change of standard. Those who are
demanding the change get their ideas from the Farmers' Alliance, and the peripatetic philosophers which that secret political organization is sending over the country to enlighten the
people on political economy. Some of them have never read the
first pages of Peter Parley^ and, as Mr. Jefferson says, know as
little " a s though nothing had ever been written on political
What our farmers need is not the banishment of our standard
by the free coinage of silver at a time when it will banish it,
but free markets for the sale of their products. They want their
Government to secure to them the natural right which God gave
to them when He created them, the right to labor and the right
to sell the products of their labor where they can sell them for
the highest price and buy the products of others where they
can buy them at the lowest price. Adding to the volume of
money in the country without adding to the actual circulation
will not benefit them. There may be five thousand millions of
money in the country and the per capita may be $75, and yet it
may all be owned by a thousand persons. It will not be in circulation and the countrv will not be benefited.
In 1850 the per capita circulation was $11.42, in 1860 it was $15.46.
Between 1850 and i860 it never rose above $18.33. The country
was full of money taken from the gold mines of California. It
went directly into all the veins and arteries of business circulation and there was the greatest prosperity ever known in this
country. Farms, farm products, and farm animals were continually rising in value, and the national wealth increased 126 per
cent in ten years. And to-day, with a per capita of $24, our
people are complaining there is not enough money coined and
issued. They want to return to 1873, and we have got more
than twice as much money in the country now as we had then.
But, Mr. President, I want to know if the mints are open and
the silver miners bring their bullion to the mints and have it
coined and given back to them how the people of Texas are to
get any of it? They are a people of whom I am very fond.
They have been very kind to me for a lifetime. I have been
living with them ever since I was a boy. I have fought and
bled and almost died with them, and I want to know where they
come in? When some one from Colorado or Nevada brings a
hundred millions of silver bullion and has it coined he may be
benefited and if the gold standard is retained he will have 57
cents' worth of silver made worth 100 cents. And this for Colorado and Nevada is a good thing, but I want to know where
Texas comes in?
Five hundred millions of silver has been coined since we began in 1875, and Texas is yet complaining that she is not benefited. One hundred and fifty millions of notes have been issued
in payment of silver purchased since 1890, and I have never yet
seen one, and Texas complains that the good things have not yet

come around to her. Mr. President, Texas will be benefited
when a Democratic Senate and House passes a bill that will give
a free way to free markets for her farm products. When the
products of others are permitted to come and exchange for hers,
that will increase the price of what her people sell and decrease
the price of what they buy, and that will put money in their
pockets. If cotton is worth 8 cents to-day and the increased demand raises it 2 cents, I can see how that will put money in their
pockets. Two cents per pound on four and a half billion pounds
would put $90,000,000 in the pockets of the cotton-growers.
The silver-owner will be benefited by increasing the price of
silver; the farmer will be benefited by increasing the price of
cotton, wheat, corn, and other farm products. He can not get a
dollar without working for it, and he can get a dollar now by
working for it, whether the mints are open to silver or not.
I want to remove the obstructions that legislation has placed
in the way to his market and thus enhance the price of his
products. I would not legislate for him or for anyone to give
an increased price in violation of natural right, but I will legislate so as to restore to him the enjoyment of that natural right.
Mr. Presiden t, I am going to vote to repeal the Sherman law, and
I will vote against every amendment which the ingenuity of the
human mind can conceive. No amendment can be offered or
adopted that does not impeach the good faith of the President,
and that I do not intend to do. In giving my vote I am trying
to discharge the duty I owe to the people of Texas and to the
whole country. I have not changed my opinion about silver
coinage. I am for free and unlimited coinage as strongly as I
ever was; but to do it now, without the cooperation of a number
of the strong powers of Europe, means, in my judgment, the
banishment of our standard of values and the introduction of
all the evils of a depreciated standard and a fluctuating currency;
and while I will not aid in bringing that calamity on the country,
I shall continue to do all in my power to secure the cooperation required to establish bimetallism throughout the world. I
stand by bimetallism, I stand by the President in his opposition
to the Sherman law, and will stand with those who are working
to secure its repeal. When I see so many of my friends around
me differing from me, and declining to follow the lead of the
brave man who leads on the column of repeal, I feel like John
Adams felt when the Declaration of Independence was proposed
and many of the great men and patriotic men hesitated, as they
stood in the brim of the waters of separation.
Webster puts in his mouth a speech that has gone sounding
down the corridors of time—a speech whose courageous and patriotic words have warmed all our bosoms, and in our boyhood
spoken from all our mouths; a speech that kindled the patriotic
fire to a white heat, nerved every heart, and swept away all fears
and divided counsels as chaff is swept before the breath of the
tempest. It rescued a continent in an hour of peril and fixed
the destinies of a great country and a great people. 1 can not
faintly imitate it, but in the faithful discharge of my duty
to my country, I can say with the thrilling words of its first
sentence, which I will make the last of mine, "Sink o - ' swim,
| live or die, survive or perish, I give my heart and my hand to
this vote." [Applause in the galleries.]