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August lfa


The House having under consideration the bill fH. R. 1) to repeal a part of
an act, approved July 14. 1390, entitled "An ast directing the purchase of
silver bullion and the issue of Treasury notes thereon, and for other purposes

Mr. PENDLETON of West Virginia said:
Mr. SPEAKER: I think that this is a question upon which
Democrats can very readily differ without being accused of having
abandoned their party principles. I know at one time I entertained a very different opinion upon this question from what I
entertain to-day. But I am one of those who believe in the lessons of experience, and I am disposed to learn by the tests of
prosperity as well as adversity. I am a bimetallist and shall
vote to arrive at the double standard by what, in my opinion, is
the only route that wi'l lead to that end. I shall not quarrel with
those who prefer another roid.
The President of the United States, following the privilege
conferred upon him by the national Constitution, has called the
Congress of the United States together to meet what he savs is
a grave and a serious crisis. He has performed his whole duty
in the premises; he has taken himself from the city of Washington to his quiet summer retreat, and has left it to this body,
united with the Senate of the United States, to determine upon
the measures that should be adopted for the benefit of the American people. And I am glad that Grover Cleveland is not here today endeavoring to exercise any influence of any kind or character
upon the action of the individual members of Congress. He has
performed his duty, and he has left it to us to perform ours; and
I am willing to assume the responsibility along with three hundred and fifty-five other gentlemen in this House and eightyeight members of the Senate of the United States.
We are told that we are facing a crisis. The first question
that actually comes to us is, what is the crisis, and what has


brought it about, and then what is the remedy to stave it off or
abolish it?
What has caused the present crisis? Why is it that all over
this land we see binks failing- in all directions, find great business enterprises coming to a sudden halt, and men by the thousands thrown out of employment? In mv opinion there is among
many others one great fundamental reason that has more to do
with it than anything else, and that is the lack of confidence
upon the part of the American people.
The next question for us to consider is, what has brpught to
pass the lack of confidence that we now find prevailing North,
East, West, and South? What is it? My distinguished friend
from the State of Missouri [Mr. BLAND], whom I admire as highly
as I do any membsr of this body, tslls us that it is because we
have failed to adopt the unlimited coinage of the silver dollar at
a ratio of 16 to 1. Now, I admire that gentleman's courage. I
admire his sincerity, and, above all, I honor and revere the loyalty
with which he has adhered to^what, under the present conditions throughout the world, must be a failing cause.
A year ago I was disposed to think differently upon this question from what I think now. Then, I am free to confess, I had
given it no study, and I was ready to vote as I then thought was
right, and I did vote at that time as I thought to be upon the
right side of that question. Then I believed that. I believed
that the free and unlimited coinage of silver at the ratio of 16
to 1 was our safest policy regardless of the action of the other
commercial nations. I have studied this ques tion, have examined
and investigated it to the best of my ability, and I have found
that I was in error in former days; andfindingnow what I believe
to be the right course, I for one am ready to pursue and stand
by it to the bitter end, whether it lead to my political defeat or
olitical victory at the polls this coming election; and finding
ow mistaken was my judgment in the past I am not one to stand
here and charge othe'r men on the floor of this House with dereliction to their duty to their constituents, or with the violation
of promises which they are alleged to have made to their people.
Now, what is the condition of affairs prevailing in this country,
which has brought to pass the disasters and misfortunes of which
we complain? I attribute that condition more to the use of unsound money than to any other known cause. I believe that ninetenths of thefinancialpanics, nine-tenths of the business failures
that have been entailed upon the civilized world are due to the
fact that the world has time and again surrendered itself to the
evils of an unsound finance. We have seen in this country every
method of finance advocated. We have beheld men of known
intelligence advocating every theory upon the subject, whether
history has contradicted them or not. All forms of fiat money
have found friends, and nearly every financial folly has been
greeted with applause.
What of other countries ? Carry yourselves a hundred years
back, and what do youfindto have been the action of France, one
of the most enlightened among the nations? At that time the
French people were embarked in a great revolution? They
thought they needed money to carry on the war that had been
declared agednst them on the part of nearly all Europe. What



did they do? They issued an almost unlimited quantity of
paper mone^v. They based it on what ? Not on the only
thing in which paper money could then be redeemable—coin,
gold and silver then being the money of all nations but they
first confiscated nearly two-thirds of the entire land of France,
the land that was held by the nobles and by the priesthood, and
said that they would make that land good for the redemption of
this currency called the as3ignat currency of France.
Several thousand millions of francs were issued. In the course
of a few years what was it worth ? Just what Confederate money
was worth when Lee laid down his arms on the 9th day of April,
1865. To replace the assignat came the mandat. Several thousand millions of them were issued, and in a few years more the
same thing followed as to them, because the mandat was not redeemable in coin, not redeemable in money that was recognized
as money throughout the civilized world. It met the fate that
all fiat money has met at all times and under all circumstances,
and became absolutely worthless, and was that much waste paper
in the hands of the citizens of France.
The lessons of history tell us that a single nation's paper money
is only good when there is a promise to pay or redeem it in the
money that is current in all commercial countries, and a firm
confidence that the nation has both the desire and the ability to
keep its pledge. The fiat money of any nation, being redeemable in nothing that is recognized as money by other nations, is
valueless. And what would money of this kind be? What etfect
'did it have on the prosperity of the French people? It ruined
thousands. It left the workingmen stranded in "their endeavor
to earn an honest livelihood by simply transferring the gold and
silver money of the country to the pockets of a few speculators
and the men who most thrive when money is necessary and when
money in use is unsound.
Mr. DAVIS. Will the gentleman permit me to ask him a
Mr. PENDLETON of West Virginia. I will.
Mr. DAVIS. What had been done before that paper money
found the people?
Mr. PENDLETON of West Virginia. That is a historical
question which I would like to explain to my friend if I had time.
Mr. DAVIS. They were eating grass; they had nothing to
eat; they were starving, and the corn failed before the paper
was issued.
Mr. PENDLETON of West Virginia. The French Government in 1792 and 1793 confiscated a great proportion of the landed
pioperty of the country—in other words, the property of the
priesthood and the property of the nobility—and then it passed a
law, which you and I know to be in existence to this day, a law
of inheritance that has transferred, in the course of time, almost
the entire landed property into the hands of the mass of the
people, where it is to-day. That money had nothing in the world
to do with that law; but that money was based on what? On
that land that the French Government confiscated, and they
based it on two-thirds of the landed wealth of France and the
sacred pledge of the Government to redeem it in land; and in a
few years 3,000,000,000 of that money was worth no more than

the Confederate promise to pay was worth when Gen. Lee surrendered.
Mr. DAVIS. I will ask the gantleman if two-thirds of that
money issued by the French Government was not counterfeit?
Mr. PENDLETON of West Virginia. I can not stop to argue
that with my friend. I have read French history one way and
you have read it another,
Mr. SIMPSON. Will the gentleman permit me to ask him a
question, for information?
Mr PENDLETON of West Virginia. One at a time.
Mr. SIMPSON. The gentleman from West Virginia admits
that at the time of the breaking out of the French Revolution
the lands had passed into the hands of a very small proportion
of the people?
Mr. PENDLETON of West Virginia. Up to that time it had.
Mr. SIMPSON. And the condition of the people was very
Mr. PENDLETON of West Virginia. Very bad indeed.
Mr. SIMPSON. Had France been running on a gold basis up
to that time?
Mr. PENDLETON of West Virginia. Up to that time France
had been running on a gold basis.
Mr. SIMPSON. Then you must admit that a. gold basis
naturally produced that result, and that the property had all
passed into the hands of a few people because of the gold standard.
Mr. PENDLETON of West Virginia. No, sir; and I will tell
you more about that. If the gentleman will not interrupt me
he will find that I am somewhat acquainted with the history of
the French Revolution as well as himself. Down to the time of
the French Revolution nine-tenths of the lands of France were
in the hands of a few people; secondly, nine-tenths of the people
in that country, under the laws then existing, were practically
in the condition of serfs and slaves. The feudal system had not
then been abolished in France, and the gold basis had nothing
whatever to do with it, or a silver basis, or any other basis, so
far as affected the welfare of the people or the ownership of
land. It was the old feudal law of inheritance that maintained
property in the hands of the few and perpetuated an aristocracy.
Mr. SIMPSON. The gentleman from West Virginia asserted
that the paper currency that they resorted to had put them in a
very bad condition.
Mr. PENDLETON of West Virginia. Now, will you let me
go on?
Mr. SIMPSON. If what I have said be true, the loss of the
paper currency had nothing to do with it.
Mr. PENDLETON of West Virginia. If you will allow me, I
will endeavor to give you the history of that matter. When the
French Assembly, in 1788, met, it was confronted with laws that
had been upon the statute books of that country for nearly a
thousand years under the feudal system. They abolished the
class privileges, and practically confiscated two-thirds of the
landed property of the country, taking it from the,aristocracy
and the priesthood, conferring it upon the national government.
Several years after that, along about 1792 and 1793, when the

French Government undertook to establish a paper fiat money,
called assignats and mandats, they drove out the gold and silver
that were current then throughout the world from general circulation and use in Prance. What was the result of that action?
Several thousand millions of assignats or mandats were issued;
based upon two-thirds of the land in France, and in a few years
they were not worth more than the Confederate money was when
Gen. Lee surrendered. Those who took it in payment of debts
were ruined, and it became absolutely worthless in the hands of
the holders, while financial distress and commercial rilin prevailed throughout all France. ,
The attempt was a signal failure, and in my opinion this experiment should be an everlasting lesson to the advocates of
purely fiat money. You ask to what reason I attribute the failure of this paper money. Why ? Because the faith of the
French Government was not pledged to redeem a franc or a
centime of that money in the money of the world at that time
known to commercial nations, to wit: gold and silver.
Mr. SIMPSON. Does not the gentleman admit that the result which he describes was owing to the failure of the republican government and the restoration of the old regime, and not
to the failure of the money itself ?
Mr. PENDLETON of West Virginia. No; it was due to the
failure of the money. The Republic of France did not go out of
existence at that time, and not until long after this paper
had become valueless. The consulate cams in on the 18th of
November, 1799, when Napoleon was First m ide First Consul.
Then in 1804, in March of that year, Napoleon sat aside the Republic and established the Empire.
Mr. SIMPSON. ' That is what I said; that it was owing to the
failure of the republican government.
Mr. PENDLETON of West Virginia. But years and years
before that this paper money had become rag money. It was
not until April, 1814, that the old regime was restored, and it
was re-restored in June, 1815. Now, I trust my friend will please
let me alone on those questions. [Laughter.]
Mr. SIMPSON. But the gentleman has practically admitted
that the failure of that money was due to the failure of the governmenttfhatissued it, the same as the failure of the Southern
Confederacy rendered its money valueless.
Mr. PENDLETON of West Virginia. The French Government never abolished that money, and never made any effort
whatever to do anything with it Qxcept to pledge the national
lands for its redemption, but long before the Government could
carry out its promises the monejr had become rag money; was
thrown away, had passed out of circulation, and had met with a
death to which there was no possible resurrection. Yet France
was then the most powerful nation on the Continent of Europe,
and its armies were everywhere victorious. The republican
government of France finally returned to the then money of the
world, gold and silver.
Now, Mr. Speaker, take another great illustration or example
in the history of the world which occurred a few years before
that, and I think it will demonstrate the folly of the gentlemen
who are preaching fiat money on the floor of the House of Rep52

resentatives, which ought to be the most intelligent body in the
world, because I am sure that it represents the most intelligent
people that breathe beneath God's sun.
Take our old Continental currency. We fought through the
war of independence, we achieved our victory and established
ourselves as a proud and strong nationality among the nations
of the globe. We were flushed with triumph, were strong, and
were growing stronger. We had this Continental money on
hand-. What did we do with it? Not a dollar of that Continental money was ever redeemed, and of what value did it become? Rag money; waste paper. Why? Because the Continental Congress, or the American nation never at any time
pledged itself to redeem that money in gold or silver, which were
at that time the recognized money of the world.
Mr. DAVIS. If the gentleman will permit me, Mr. Gallatin,
Secretary of the Treasury in 1818, delivered his opinion of that
Mr. PENDLETON of West Virginia (interposing). Mr.
Speaker, I would like to answer all the questions the gentleman may desire to ask, but if I undertake to do so I shall be
kept discussing this one point until my time has expired.
Mr. DAVIS. Mr. Gallatin said
Mr. PENDLETON of West Virginia. I prefer to go on and
discuss the question that is before the House. What I have
been saying so far is merely preliminary to the main question;
and let me say to the gentleman, furthar, that it is very hard
work to talk in this Hall in hot weather, and I need whatever
voice I have.
Mr. DAVIS. I will not ask the question.
Mr. PENDLETON of West Virginia. Now, Mr. Speaker, I
started out with the bold proposition that nine-tenths of the evils
that have prevailed in our country have been due to an unsound,
unstable currency, and I believe that whenever this country
shall arrive at a period when it will establish for itself a sound
and stable currency it will become more flourishing than any
other country of which history makes mention—than any other
country that to-day exists in the civilized world. Why should
it not? We have every resource here, every capacity for the
establishment and the maintenance of a glorious, prosperous,
powerful country. Why, then, should we not one and all strive
to establish a sound currency?
There is one style of argument used here to which I desire to
call attention. There are men who argue on the silver question
exactly as the Republicans do upon the tariff question. Our Republican friends, those of them at least who proceed to the extreme of a prohibitory tariff, argued last fall that this country
was sufficient unto itself; that we could legislate for ourselves
and make whatever tiriff we chose to make, regardless of other
nations. The Democrats took issue with them on that proposition.
We said that all nations grow rich by trade. We proclaimed
that Europe wanted the breadstuffs, the corn, the cotton, the
bacon, and the hams of America, while we wanted things from
them; that if we laid down as a fundamental rule that we did
not intend at any time or under any circumstances to pay atten52

tion to the wishes of foreign countries, and did not allow their
people to sell their products here, they would return to us in
kind with retaliatory tariffs of their own, and prohibit the exportation of our products to them. We went to battle with
gentlemen on that side of the question who made arguments of
this character, and I am glad to say we have prevailed in three
successive campaigns.
And-now, when the battle is on for sound money, for an upright
currency, we are told again by the very gentlemen on this side
of the House who fought against that theory of our Republican
friends that this country can maintain a currency of its own independent of the action of the other civilized nations of the
world; that, trading wifch them and finding our great markets for
our breadstuffs among the nations of old Europe, we can make old
Europe take anything for money that we choose to call money,
whether it be a money metal with them or no.
There never was a falser theory; there never was a more erroneous doctrine. We can not do it. There is only one ground
upon which we can do it; there is only one method by which we
can attain that supreme condition—when we csn make a currency
exclusively our own, when we can„establish a currency which
will circulate only throughout the United States and be the
money of the American people, the balance of the world to the
contrary notwithstanding. And what is that condition? To
build around yourselves a Chinese wall, and declare that you will
not trade with other nations: that you are sufficient unto yourselves and intend to live unto yourselves.
So long, however, as you do not desire to occupy the position
of China—so long as you desire to be a civilized nation marching
onward in the path of progress and prosperity, moving forward
in enlightenment, in culture, and refinement, and enjoying all
the blessings of civilization, you are obliged to obey the old
biblical injunction—trade with all nations and thereby grow
rich and prosperous. These nations all have a money metal that
is common with us. and is also a money metal with us, to wit,
While you do this you must have a money to deal with; you
must have a circulating medium that is common not only to you,
but to the civilized world; because when you begin to pay balances, to make exchanges, you must use the money of the world
for that particular purpose. Suppose, for instance, that this
Government should carry out the suggestion of a free-silver
friend of mine who sits not very far from me; suppose it should
demonetize gold—absolutely drive gold out of existence—and
make this country an exclusively silver country.
How, then, could we carry on our trade with foreign countries? All other nations having gold for their money metal, the
United States having silvor for its money metal alone, how
could we carry on trade with each other*? We would go back to
the condition of Asiatic and African savages, and our trade
would be trade in kind and by barter? that alone. That is why
it is impossible as a fundamental doctrine of political economy
for any one nation to establish for itself and maintain for itself
exclusively any money which is not on a par with the money
used in all the countries of the civilized world. Other nations

will demand of us the money that is common to us and them and
will leave our own exclusive money for our use alone. It can
not be. done; you may make whatever ratio you please, and it
will not be done. The money that is universal money will leave
us and we shall find ourselves solitary, with no medium of exchange that is common to. all the world.
Why, sir, to-day, what is the condition of affairs? It is true
that I sympathize with the cry that Colorado is sending up to
the heavens. I sympathize with the feeling of the people of
Nevada upon this question as deeply as their own members on
this floor can do. But at the same time they can not come to
this Congress and ask us, when the interests of 65,000,000 of
people are involved, to legislate exclusively for their benefit,
forgetting the interests of every other portion of those 65,000,000
who live under the same flag and are entitled to the same protection as the people of Colorado or Nevada. Why can not we
make their money the exclusive money of this country? Why
can we riot maintain the free and unlimited coinage of their
money at a ratio of 16 to 1, as they desire that we should do?
In the first place, I am myself a bimetallism I believe that
conditions can be made to exist by the action of Congress when
silver and gold, freely and ftilly coined at a ratio of 16 to 1 or 15
to 1, or any other ratio that all the civilized and commercial
nations may agree upon, can and will circulate in this country,
and all other countries, as the money of the world. And that
condition, I think, can b^ brought about by proper legislation
on the part of tire American Congress.1
But why can we not, my friends, maintain this free and unlimited coinage to-day at a ratio of 16 to 1, or at any ratio whatever? In the first place, we might even out of our earnings
present Colorado and Nevada yearly a dollar for every fifty-eight
cents of their silver, as we are now doing, and yet survive. The
other sixty-five millions might do this for a time, and that is
what we are really asked to do, and not make use of this product
as money at all. When we, however, are asked to make use of
their product as a money metal which the other trading nations
will not take, we disrupt, break down, disorganize, and steadily
damage our whole industrial situation, and leave ourselves at the
mercv of all, nations, a subject for both laughter and universal
In 1816 a movement against silver began on the part of England, which movement I think has been disastrous to the world,
as I would like to see both metals maintained, believing that
the maintenance of both metals is for the greater prosperity of
all the nations. England, it is true, in 1816 made hersalf a
monometallic country—decided in favor of gold and suspended
further coinage of silver. My friend from Texas [Mr, B A I L E Y ]
asks us why it was that England with her wealth and her power
was able to maintain gold as her sole money metal, and why we
can not maintain silver as our sole money metal if we so desire?
I will tell him the reason., England could maintain gold as her
sole medium of exchange for one reason, and one reason alone,
because gold was money all the world over.
Every where—in every civilized nation of the world—the English guinea was good for what it called for. But suppose under

the conditions in which silver exists to-day we should attampt
to make silver the solitary money metal of this country and
make it the basis of all values, could we, with all the wealth, all
the power, all the resources of this grand and magnificent country of ours sustain silver upon that basis? I say we could not,
because there is no other commercial nation ready to join us today in such a movement—because no other nation that maintains any standing in the commercial marts of the world is
ready to rally to our support, to uphold our hands in an event of
that character.
In 1816 England demonetized silver; in 1871 Germany suspended the further coinage of silver. Tn 1873 France did likewise, and France was followed by the nations of the Latin Union,
by Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, and Italy, and to-day the same
policy obtains in every civilized nation on the continent of
Europe. The consequence is there is no commercial country in
the world ready to stand by and maintain us in any such situation as is asked by our free silver friends.
But- there is another reason, Mr. Speaker, why we can not
maintain silver as a money metal without the alliance of other
nations, and that is that we are a borrowing nation. Why can
not we maintain it at 16 to 1 to-da^? The first reason of all is
that the United States is a borrowing nation, and has been for a
hundred years past. And it is said that while the balance of
trade has been against us for some years, that for the past year
this balance of trade has been on our side and in our favor. But
that is not alone the question to be considered when you take
these matters into consideration.
There is something else besides the balance of trade that compels annually the vast flow of American gold across the broad
waters of the Atlantic Ocean. One hundred millions are expended every year by American tourists on the Continent of
Europe, all of it American gold. One hundred millions more
are expended every year by American importers when they pay
the freight charges on the carrying trade, nearly all of which
is in the hands of England and other European countries. These
two great elements of indebtedness have" to be met by this country abroad with gold coin. These make the real balance against
us on every annual settlement with Europe.
But what else do you find? Several thousand millions of dollars of foreign capital have teen loaned in this country. Why,
in my little State of West Virginia I know of two railroads alone
that owe fourteen million dollars of gold in London, the money
mart of the world, and 6 per cent of interest in gold has to go
there every year to meet the obligations of these two roads.
The Northern Pacific Railroad is owned mainly by German capital, the Reading by English capital, and the same is true of tne
Erie, it being also owned by English capital, and other business
enterprises are run by foreign capital; until to-day the foreign
investments in this country have*been so great, so numerous,
that it is estimated anywhere from three to five thousmd millions of dollars will be required to cover the investments which
have been made by foreign capital within the limits of this country. Now, the interest on this vast amount of money has to go
abroad every year, and in gold; and that is far more in every re-

spect than any balance of trade, or any possible balance of trade
that may be in our favor.
Thus we have to settle annually with Europa. How can we do
it? Can we, as some gentlemen proclaim, do so with our products? We can not. In our mutual trading for the year they
have already taken all of our products they desire or need for
the year. How, then, must this settlement be made? It must
be made in money, and in money that can be used everywhere.
They will not take our silver, as it is with them only a commodity, like wheat, corn, and cotton, and fluctuates while a commodity, just as other articles fluctuate in value. 'We must, then,
pay in gold. But suppose a policy should be adopted that would
compel all nations to coin silver and gold at an agreed ratio.
There would then be no greater demand for a gold dollar than a
silver dollar, and we could pay our debts and collect our credits
in either and be satisfied with either, for the use of both at the
agreed ratio would be universal, and there would be no greater
demand for the one than the other.
Mr. ALLEN. If it would not interrupt the gentleman, I should
like to make a suggestion, with his permission. Does he think
it well enough for us to adopt a policy that will enhance the
value of these loans, and take more of our labor and products
to pay that four or five billions of dollars of which you speak?
Mr. PENDLETON of West Virginia. No, sir; I did not say I
favored any such policy as that.
But, Mr. Speaker, we not only have that question to consider,
that the balance of trade is really against us, that for years under
present conditions, with reference to silver, this country has to
settle with Europe large balances, and they have to be paid in
gold, in the money of the civilized world; but there are other
considerations that are equally important. If we undertake to
pay those annually occurring debts in the silver that we take
out of our mines, which the nations will now only take from us
as bullion, and send it across the water for that purpose, we get
only for the quantity of silver in our silver dollar, fifty-eight or
sixty cents, yet we coin it to-day, endeavor to stand alone in its
maintenance , and someone loses from forty to fifty cents on
every dollar. Who sustains this loss? The sixty-five millions
of Americans. Who now profit by it ? The silver kings of Nevada,
Colorado, and Montana, who palm it upon the American people
under this Sherman act at nearly double its real value. When we
send it abroad, which trade compels us to do as bullion, all that
we can get for it is its value as a merchandise in the markets of
We have to meet that condition; we have to be prepared to face
that crisis every year, and how can we do it if we adopt for ourselves in the first place the money of the civilized world, and
then adopt for ourselves anothsr money peculiar to ourselves
alone? The drain from abroad will come from what direction?
Our balances will have to be paid year by year in gold, and gold
alone, until the entire gold circulation of- the country has been
absorbed and evaporated, and we shall be left with silver on our
hands which the nations will neither take nor recognize as
But what has brought this crisis on the people? Why is it

that all through the land capital has become timid, labor doubtful, banks suspending, all business industries at a standstill?
Simply the want of confidence and the apprehension which has
been engendered in the public mind abroad in the holders of our
securities as to our ability to pay these gold balances which we
have owed for years. When they find we are making this silver currency a money metal in this country, at a ratio of 16 to 1,
equal to gold, they will have none of it; they do not want it; and
because, further, while it may be worth a dollar here, there
across the water it is worth only 58 cents, and they are hastening to call in their loans in consequence; they are trying to get
their investments at home, for they fear they may be compelled
to take one-half to two-thirds of the amount they have loaned
here, and that we shall in the end pay them this very silver
which has so depreciated. There is a wish to get out first while
the gold is still to be had.
What has been the effect on American capitalists? American
capitalists are governed by the same apprehension, and believe
that the same result will come to them. They are withdrawing
their money from American enterprises. They are calling it
away from American industries, and are endeavoring to loan it
abroad and invest it in securities that are payable in gold, which
is good from one end of this continent to the other, and from
one corner of the civilized world to the other. That has been
the cause.
Now, why does such a cause as that exist? Why shall we not
do something to res tore the confidence both of foreign people and
of home people in the faith, in the good credit and the soundness
of the American dollar? Here is the greatest field for investment that can be found in the civilized world to-day. We have
3,000,000 square miles of territory, a large portion of it yet uncultivated; magnificent rivers and grand and glorious forests;
the finest climate to be found upon the globe; every room for investment; the land callingforcapital, farmers calling for capital,
manufacturers calling for money, labor calling for . the dollars
which will give it employment^
Why should not capital come here and why will it not come
here when such a grand opportunity lies before it? The rate
of interest in London is 3 per cent; in, Paris it is 3 per cent; in
Berlin it is 3 per cent, and all Europe is overflowing with money;
all the great money centers have a superabundance and no field
for investment at home. They are all anxious. They are overwhelmed with a desire to invest their money wherever they can
receive a reasonable compensation with a good, sound, and safe
security. And here we are, giving 6 per cent for money, and
in some cases 8 and 30 per cent.
Let the capitalist abroad once come to understand that the dollar he loans here is to be paid him back in the same dollar when
it finally comes to his hands again, and just as good as he loaned,
and European capital will come over here in overwhelming volumes, to be invested in this country, and to continue to build up
and make it great and glorious and grand and prosperous, as it
ought to be under our free, equal, and just laws. [Applause.]
Now, my friends^ can we by ourselves maintain the free and
unlimited coinage, I mean without international agreement, of

the silver dollar at any satisfactory ratio, and at the same time
have a sound and stable currency and make it equal to the gold
To be perfectly frank, when I began the consideration of this
question I intended to vote for a ratio of 20 to 1, and at that ratio
for the free and unlimited coinage of silver. But the more I
have studied the question the more I have found that we would
just be in the same trouble that we would b3 in with aratio of 16
to 1. A ratio of 16 to 1 prevailed when, in this land? When
France was coining silver at 15^ to 1. When Germany was making silver her sole money metal. When Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, and all the commercial countries of Europe save
England were coining silver atafratio of 15£ to 1. And how much
did we coin in this country? Why did we not coin more than
we did? We coined practically none at all, except for subsidiary
coinage, down to 1873, because the very moment the silver miner
found that he could get an ounce of gold in France or other
European countries for 15£ of silver, he naturally went there
with his silver instead of coming here, where it took 16 ounces of
silver to purchase one of gold.
So I say, wnen we are asked to return to this old ratio of 16."to
1, under that ratio we never coined any silver money, and we had
no silver money, practically, outside of the subsidiary coinage,
ever in circulation. Now, with a ratio of 16 to 1 we could not
coin it in those days when France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and all
continental Europe stood ready to uphold our hands and maintain us in that coinage and accept silver as money. That being
so, what can we do to-day, when we alone, practically, among the
civilized nations of the world propose to establish a ratio of that
Mr. CAPEHART. Would the gentleman be willing to vote
for any ratio?
Mr. PENDLETON of West Virginia. No, sir: not now, but
will vote for an agreed ratio with three or four of .the leading
commercial nations.
Mr. CAPEHART. Did your ^constituents in the convention
which nominated you, less than a year ago, give any expression
of opinion on that subject?
Mr. PENDLETON of West Virginia. None whatever, except
to adopt the national platform at Chicago.
Mr. CAPEHART. I have the platform on which the gentleman was elected, and if he will pardon me I will read it.
Mr. PENDLETON of West Virginia. I yielded to the gentleman for a question. I did not yield for a speech.
Mr. CAPEHART. This was last year, less than a year ago.
Mr. SIMPSON. Let us hear it.
Mr. CAPEHART. (Reading)—
That we are in favor of a bimetallic currency of gold and s i l v e r -

Mr. PENDLETON of West Virginia. And so am I.
Mr. CAPEHART. (Reading)—
and the free coinage of both metals, establishing such parity between the
two as shall keep both in circulation.

Mr. PENDLETON of West Virginia. That is what I am in
favor of; I want just such a parity as will keep both in circula52

tion, and that is what Grover Cleveland is in favor of, and that
is what every bimetallist is in favor of.
Now, I say, how can we maintain any of these ratios when we
find there is no other civilized nation with whom we are prepared to deal that will sustain us in any such ratio? We find
ourselves again in the situation of having one money that is current throughout the civilized world, and another coin that is
cuvrent only here. The same old result will follow as followed
before. Gold will leave the country and we shall be left here
entirely on a silver basis.
So that I can not see how we can maintain any of these ratios.
Silver is treated as a commodity by nearly all the civilized
world. Its value depends to-day very largely upon the supply
and demand of the article, and if we adopted the ratio of 16 to 1
we should find silver worth how much? Fifty-eight cents on
the dollar. Suppose we should adopt the ratio of 20 to 1, we
should find silver worth 80 to 85 cents on the dollar. Suppose
we should adopt a ratio of 50 to 1, then silver might be worth a
dollar and a quarter. But my objection would still be the same—
the lack of stability, the continual fluctuations of our metal,
while the balance of the world would have a stationary currency
that was good not only abroad, but also here, and which would
give them absolute dominion over us.
That is the great cardinal objection with me to any such proposition as that which is made here. But if we should obey the
platform adopted at Chicago and wipa out of existence the purchasing clause of the Sherman act, where would the country
stand? Suppose before we plunge into the free-coinage field we
make an honest effort to have other nations help us.
Let us not take this step alone and expose ourselves to be
fleeced, bled, and, plundered by all the nations. If they see us
fighting alone, not one will come to our rescue. Some think that
we would make debts greater. No at all. We shall, nevertheless, have all our present currency left to us. Not'a dollar of silver will be demonetized, and not a debt would be increased the
hundredth part of a cent in value. The same currency that we
now expect to pay our debts with we would still have.
What would necessarily follow such a course? Simply this
would come to pass: As soon as it was found that this country
no longer intended to coin the silver of the world, as soon ag it
was known that continental Europe had ceased to coin the future
silver product, and that the United States had joined with continental Europe upon that line of action, what country of all the
civilized nations of the earth would be the first to call for the
free and unlimited coinage of silver at a ratio to be agreed upon
by an international convention? Why, the country called "Great
Britain would be thefirstto make that demand. Why? Because,
with $10,000,000,000 loaned out to the balance of the world, she
would find it necessary to devise some means of bringing about,
at some time in the near future, the payment of that ten thousand millions, amounting to one-fourth of the entire wealth of
the British people.
Where is that money loaned? Mainly to countries that have
only silver with which to pay, and as soon as Great Britain found
that the gold for the payment of the interest and principal of

her vast foreign investments was exhausted she would naturally
demand the remonetization of the metal in which alone that indebtedness could be paid. Further, when she found that all
South America, with India, China, and other countries with
which she carries on trade, and with whom the balance of trade
is always in her favor—when she found that those countries had
not the gold with which to pay her, she would be down on her
knees again calling upon the nations of the civilized world to
provide some means by which she could collect her loans and
have her balances paid. In that way we should find that she
would be knocking at our doors in less than three years, demanding that silver and gold should be again made the money of civilization, at a ratio to be agreed upon by an international convention. In order to have us remonetize she would gladly do the
That is the course I favor, and that is what I believe will come
to pass if this Sherman act be stricken from the statute book of
the United States. [Applause.]
Now, Mr. Speaker, as it is very difficult to speak in this Hall,
and as I find that I am growing more than exhausted from the
heat, I shall conclude by simply calling attention to one other
point to which some cf our friends have adverted ' with a good
deal of what I think unjust criticism. I refer to what they call
a departure on the part of a certain section of the Democracy
from the nationaltplatform of the Democratic party. As I read
that platform I can not find any other policy in it than the one
that I have been attempting to lay down here. Let us read it:
We denounce the legislation known as the Sherman act of 1890 as a cowardly makeshift fraught with possibilities of danger in the future, which
should make all of its supporters, as well as its author, anxious for its
•speedy repeal.

Its author is anxious for its speedy repeal. Its supporters are
anxious for its speedy repeal. Its author was a good Republican, its supporters were good and honest Republicans, and they
are, one and all, anxious for its speedy repeal, and so am 1, in
obedience to the dictates of the Chicago platform adopted by
the Democratic party in convention assembled.
We hold to the use of both gold and silver as the standard money of this
country, and to the coinage of both gold and silver, without discriminating
against either or charge for coinage, but the dollar unit of coinage of these
metals shall be of equally intrinsic exchangeable value, and be adjusted byinternational agreement.

As I understand it, the national convention gave us two roads
of obtaining the free and unlimited coinage of the silver dollar;
and if we could not do it and maintain a parity of the metals at
a ratio of 16 to 1 or that of any other ratio by ourselves, then it
left open to every Democrat, every true follower of the doctrines
of that party, the other remedy. It left open to us that of international agreement.
I am satisfied that a ratio of 16 to 1, or a ratio of 17 to 1, will
accomplish nothing, as well as a ratio of 20 to 1. But lam satisfied, along with Grover Cleveland and other good, honest, sterling
Democrats, that the only way in which we can accomplish that
full, complete, and ample remonetization of silver is by an inter52

national agreement made with three or four of the leading commercial countries of the world. When that is done, and I believe it will ultimately be done, and at no distant date, then the
promises of the national platform of Chicago will be kept, the faith
of Grover Cleveland will be maintained, and the Democratic party
will have fulfilled every financial pledge to the people of this
country for the future as well as it has done in the past; and I
for one am content to wait for that, expecting we shall see the
dawning of prosperity once more come upon this beautiful land
of ours. [Applause.]
If we should fail in obtaining international agreement I should
then favor an issue of Treasury notes redeemable on demand in
gold. A gold reserve in the Treasury of one hundred millions
sustains three hundred and forty-six millions of Treasury notes
and one hundred and forty-seven millions of silver certificates,
and no holder of a Treasury note ever calls for a dollar of that
gold because the Government promises to pay in gold and the
creditor is satisfied with the promise This is confidence. Issue
one hundred millions of bonds for another one hundred millions
of gold. Put the gold in the Treasurj' as a reserve. On that
itsae $500,000,000 in Treasury notes, the good old greenbacks,
and send them into circulation from time to time as they are
needed. Get them out among the people just as the first three
hundred and forty-six millions were thrown into circulation.
Not a dollar of the new gold would be called for as long as our
faith was pledged. We would know that we could get the gold
when we wanted it. Confidence would be just the sams, money
would be plenty, and this great old land of ours would march
onward in happiness, honor, and long-continued prosperity.